Holidays, lack of pricing formula disrupt Iraqi oil exports
Iraq's oil exports through the Gulf port of Mina al-Bakr have been disrupted by the lack of a pricing formula for the second half of December, diplomatic and industry sources said Thursday.
A western diplomat told AFP that arrangements for the UN-controlled Iraqi exports were likely to be held up at the United Nations until next week because of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The slow pace of liftings at Mina al-Bakr was due to "the lack of a (pricing) formula for clients of Iraqi crude to purchase the quantities they require," said an industry source close to an Asian client.
Exports from Mina al-Bakr resumed on December 13 after a 12-day suspension due to a disagreement between Iraq and the United Nations over pricing. Signals that Iraq was now ready to also resume exports through Turkey sent the price of the benchmark Brent crude back below $24 a barrel in London on Thursday.
Iraq has been under sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait but is authorised to export crude under a UN programme to finance imports of humanitarian goods for its 22 million population.
On December 19, the UN's sanctions committee rejected a new formula proposed by Iraq for the pricing of its crude, amid controversy over Baghdad's efforts to impose a surcharge to be paid outside UN control. –AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)