Fujairah-owned company claims stake in oil cargo seized by US

Fujairah International Oil & Gas Corp, which is wholly owned by Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, the ruler of the Emirate of Fujairah, has claimed a stake in an oil cargo that the US seized last year, asserting that the oil was from Iran and was in violation of sanctions.

Fujairah International Oil & Gas Corp (FIOGC) claimed in a document filed in federal court in the District of Columbia that the company was an intermediary seller of the cargo and that it was Iraqi oil rather than Iranian. Iran had previously described the seizure of the cargo as an “act of piracy”.

FIOGC said that in June last year it bought 2m barrels of crude from an undisclosed Iraqi supplier. The supplier presented as proof of origin the bills of lading issued by Iraq’s state oil marketer SOMO, FIOGC says. In October FIOGC sold the oil to an unidentified Chinese buyer. The US government then seized the cargo aboard the tanker Achilleas, which was rerouted to the US Gulf Coast. The crude was discharged in Houston this month.