Oil Tanker 'Vanishes' With $100M Cargo

Kurdish ship carries crude that may legally belong to Iraq

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 30, 2014 3:19 PM CDT | Updated Aug 30, 2014 3:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – The US Coast Guard has lost track of a Kurdish tanker carrying $100 million in disputed oil off the coast of Texas, the Independent reports. Headed for Galveston, the United Kalavyrvta was anchored at least 60 miles off-shore when it vanished from radar screens. The ship's haul fell under legal dispute when Iraq filed a lawsuit in US courts, urging American officials to grab the ship's oil in Galveston because it belongs to Iraq, not the Kurdish National Government. But Kurds say it's theirs, and insist they need oil-export dollars to survive and fund their future independence, the Washington Post reports.

In any case, a US court denied the lawsuit Monday because America has no jurisdiction over ships more than 60 miles off the coast. Meanwhile, the United Kalavyrvta may have moved beyond US antennas or could be suffering technical problems, the US Coast Guard says (or maybe it "voluntarily switched off its transmitter," says the Daily News). It's not unusual for ships to vanish from radar systems when transporting disputed oil, Reuters notes: A few days ago, a Kamari ship with Kurdish oil "went dark" near Egypt's Sinai and turned up near Israel two days later, its oil gone.

  (Shutterstock)
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