After a legal show-down in Texas this week, the outlook for a handful of tankers holding some $300 million worth of Kurdish oil is not looking good.
Seemingly unable to find enough buyers willing to take a risk on million-barrel cargoes of disputed crude, the Kurdish authorities are paying over $75,000 a day to keep all three far-flung vessels afloat. A fourth ship began filling up at a terminal on the Turkish coast on Thursday, potentially adding to the tally, Reuters reported.
Unless they can seal last-minute discreet sales or reach some kind of deal with Baghdad over how to share oil revenues, experts say, chances are slim of unloading ships now dotted around the globe, from Texas to Malaysia. In total, they have already been at sea for nearly half a year.
"There will not be many people who will want to take the cargo in circumstances where there is a dispute about the ownership of it," said Ben Knowles of law firm Clyde & Co.