June 22, 2014: an older story that suggest I was not far off the mark -- the growing relationship between Turkey and Israel (and, of course, now I think one can add Kurdistan to the mix). Bloomberg is reporting:
Turkey and Israel may soon renew diplomatic ties, suspended after Israeli commandos killed nine Turks in a raid on a Gaza Strip-bound flotilla, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
Turkey’s willingness to renew ties with Israel is being fueled by the domestic troubles of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the prospect of a pipeline shipping Israeli offshore gas to Turkey, analysts say.Also, see a short blurb at this post.
June 20, 2014: it looks like that $56 oil found a home -- Israel. BusinessInsider is reporting:
The first tanker to carry Kurdish pipeline oil is still homeless after loading in May. After a false start sailing to the United States, the United Leadership tanker turned back towards Morocco, where it is anchored after local authorities refused to let it discharge for the Mohammedia refinery.
The SCF Altai did not arrive directly from Ceyhan.
The United Emblem was the second tanker to load crude at Ceyhan from the KRG pipeline at the start of last week. It then made a ship-to-ship transfer near Malta to the SCF Altai during June 14-16, local shipping and market sources said and ship tracking showed.
Israeli refineries have taken Kurdish crude oil before but in small volumes, which were shipped to Turkish ports by truck. Some oil has also been stored there.
The KRG began exporting a small volume of its Taq Taq crude grade by truck to Turkey in early 2013 and then added another grade Shaikan at the start of this year.
This is a very interesting geo-political story. How it plays out will depend on:
- how much influence the US has any more among the players (very little)
- how the players see the Iraqi insurgency playing out
- Kurdistan ships oil through a pipeline on an irregular basis to a Turkish port
- the Kurdish oil is loaded onto a tanker and sold to the highest bidder
- by "agreement," Baghdad and Kurdistan share the profit (I believe the Kurds get about 17%)
- there is currently a tanker on the Mediterranean Sea filled with Kurdish oil
- Kurdish will claim 100% percent of the profit of that oil IF sold
- if the oil is sold and the Kurds take the 100% profit, Kurdistan independence is hastened
- Baghdad and the US have strongly warned buyers NOT to support the Kurds in this "unilateral theft" of Iraqi oil