Neither David Copperfield nor Siegfried and Roy could have pulled off the disappearing act that has $100 million worth of Kurdish crude vanishing from the hold of an oil tanker sitting 60 miles offshore from Galveston.
Speculation is that the tanker, obviously controlled by Wile E. Kurds, turned off its transponder while unloading the oil onto smaller vessels.
This was no ordinary disappearing-elephant feat. The Coast Guard reported on Thursday that the massive United Kalavrvta, carrying 1 million barrels of crude, had vanished from its AIS ship tracking system. By Friday afternoon, the story took an even stranger twist when KHOU Channel 11 reported that the ship was back on radar but that the oil was no where to be found.
The tanker has been anchored off the coast of Galveston since late July, according to the London Daily Mail, pending a legal dispute between Iraq, which is being very fussy and claims to own the oil, and Kurdistan, which is tripping out on wishful-thinking independence and shipped the stuff to the U.S. for profit.
Speculation is, reports KHOU, that the tanker, obviously controlled by Wile E. Kurds, turned off its transponder on Thursday while unloading the oil onto smaller vessels. Iraq has said it will sue whomever purchases those slippery barrels of black gold. And, of course, the legal world loves this brand of "it's mine, no it's mine" shenanigans.
Actually, this disappearing act is nothing new in other parts of the world. Reuters reports that as Iraq has stepped up legal battles to retrieve what it considers stolen goods, "Several other tankers carrying disputed crude from Iran or Iraqi Kurdistan have unloaded cargoes after switching off their transponders, which makes their movements hard to track."