The United Kalavrvta (formerly SCF BYRRANGA), which has been moored in international waters off Texas for more than a month, is reported to have disappeared from satellite tracking, writes Reuters.
Namely, the ship, which got cleared for unloading of one million of barrels of Kurdish oil it was carrying earlier this week, is believed to had switched off its transponder, which made it difficult to track.
According to Reuters, several other tankers carrying Kurdish oil have managed to unload their disouted cargoes by doing the same thing, thus making them invisible to tracking systems.
U.S. District Judge Gray Miller in Houston, Texas threw out a court order requiring federal agents to seize and hold USD 100 million worth of crude oil sent by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Judge Miller said that federal laws governing property stolen at sea do not grant him the authority to decide the dispute between the KRG and the Iraqi Oil Ministry, both laying claim to the cargo.
According to the ruling, Iraqi Oil Ministry had lost control over the crude during the Kurdish government’s unauthorised pumping from Iraq’s northern oilfields.
“Kurdistan’s unauthorized export of oil over land -– and later overseas –- may violate Iraqi law, but it does not violate U.S. maritime law,” Miller said.
Miller scrapped a seizure order issued by a Houston magistrate judge on July 28, who agreed to store the disputed cargo onshore at Iraq’s expense as the case reached the nation’s Supreme Court.