UPDATE 3-Iraq threatens new authorized motion in opposition to Kurdistan crude consumers

(Provides remark from Weatherford)

By Rowena Edwards

Aug 25 (Reuters) – Iraq’s state-owned oil marketer SOMO has threatened recent authorized motion in opposition to consumers of crude oil originating from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan area, in response to a letter dated Aug. 23 seen by Reuters.

The letter is the newest in a sequence of strikes by Iraq’s oil ministry to attempt to management oil income from the Kurdistan area.

A February ruling by Iraq’s Federal Supreme Courtroom deemed the authorized foundations of the Kurdistan area’s oil and fuel sector unconstitutional.

The Kurdistan Regional Authorities (KRG) has repeatedly rejected the ruling.

“Agency authorized motion shall be made in opposition to all events concerned, with a purpose to block loadings of these illegal cargoes originating from Iraq, together with however not restricted to these from the Kurdistan area,” the letter mentioned.

“The Iraqi federal ministry of oil and SOMO as its affiliate reserve the appropriate to take all authorized measures in opposition to any seller or purchaser of smuggled crude oil that has been confirmed to have loaded Iraqi oil from, exactly, Turkey’s Ceyhan Oil Terminal, with out the specific endorsement of SOMO,” it said.

The KRG declined to remark.

The motion mirrors an analogous transfer by Iraq’s oil ministry in 2014 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-kurds-oil-turkey-idUKKBN0FZ1S920140730 to dam vessels loading crude from the Kurdistan area from unloading at international ports.

Iraq has made a number of bids to implement the February court docket ruling. It has summoned a number of corporations working within the Kurdistan area to business court docket sittings, which have been repeatedly postponed, and launched a coverage to blacklist oilfield service corporations if they didn’t withdraw from the Kurdistan area.

The most recent blacklisted oilfield providers corporations embrace Weatherford Worldwide and Dubai-based OIL SERV, in response to a supply aware of the matter.

“Weatherford has a protracted and wealthy historical past of operations in Iraq, supporting its position as a big participant within the world power financial system. We stay dedicated to the area and proceed to function with out disruption and in full compliance with all native and worldwide legal guidelines,” a Weatherford spokesperson commented.

Oil Serv didn’t reply to a request for remark. (Reporting by Rowena Edwards; Modifying by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)