Iraq threatens to seize oil shipments, sue dealers

AP News
Posted: Jan 11, 2013 5:55 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq is threatening to seize oil exports made without its consent and sue companies dealing in what it sees as contraband crude just days after the country's self-rule Kurdish region began unilaterally exporting oil.

A spokesman for Iraq's Kurdish region confirmed Friday that the largely autonomous territory has begun shipping oil to Turkey in the past few days. Safeen Dizayee declined to say how much was being hauled into Turkey by truck, but said it is "more than a few tankers a day."

The move appears to have triggered Baghdad's threat. A statement quietly posted Thursday on the website of the State Oil Marketing Organization warns that Iraq may confiscate what it sees as contraband oil cargoes and sue sellers, buyers and companies that transport the crude.