A Kurdish oil tanker is seen off the coast of Ashkelon
A Kurdish oil tanker is seen off the coast of Ashkelon. (photo credit:REUTERS)


Up to three-quarters of the oil supply in Israel was imported from Iraqi Kurdistan, a Financial Times report said Sunday.

Between May and August 11, 19 million barrels of oil from Kurdistan were imported by Israel, the equivalent of $1 billion.

With a demand of 240,000 barrels a day in Israel, the Kurdish oil comprised 77 percent of the Israel’s oil during this time period.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) would not say whether it sold oil to Israel, neither “directly [n]or indirectly,” though a senior KRG adviser said that “We do not care where the oil goes once we have delivered it to the traders.”

“Our priority is getting the cash to fund our Peshmerga forces against Daesh [Islamic State] and to pay civil servant salaries.”

The rest of Israel’s oil supply reportedly came from Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, though Israel does not report on this information officially out of security reasons.

The London-based paper said that the oil sales are a sign of a growing disconnect between the Kurdish state and Iraq proper.

It is also a sign, the report said, of Kurdistan’s growth in the international market as Italy, Greece and France are also apparently getting more and more of their oil from the Kurds.

In February, an oil tanker from Iraqi Kurdistan that was blocked for months from unloading in Texas by a Baghdad legal challenge sailed back to the Mediterranean and delivered its cargo to Israel. The United Kalvrvta tanker, carrying 1 million barrels of crude from the semi-autonomous region, became embroiled in a legal dispute in Texas in July 2014 after the KRG announced that it was looking to ramp up independent oil shipments.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post