Iraq oil exports jump to 18.7 million barrels
Iraq exported 18.7 million barrels of oil last week but ended the latest phase of the UN oil-for-food program with a budget shortfall of about $1.70 billion dollars, the United Nations said Tuesday, December 4.
The weekly total, up from 11.2 million barrels the previous week, was one of the largest volumes of Iraqi crude exported under UN supervision in the past five years, close to the record weekly high of 19.4 million barrels.
With the average price of Iraqi oil at approximately 17.85 euros ($15.75) a barrel, revenue last week was estimated at 334 million euros ($295 million), the office administering the program said.
The price of Iraqi oil has fallen steadily from about $24.30 a barrel since mid-September, and last week's sales brought total earnings in the latest phase to 5.94 billion euros ($5.29 billion). Of that, 72 percent -- about $3.80 billion -- is available to pay for imports under the program, which was set up to alleviate the impact of sanctions on ordinary Iraqi citizens. The budget for the phase, which ended November 30, was $5.50 billion.
A new six-month phase -- the 11th since the inception of the program in December 1996 -- began Saturday and Iraq is expected to submit a distribution plan to the UN this month. In the week ending November 30, there were a total of 12 loadings at Iraq's gulf port of Mina Al-Bakr and at the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, the only export outlets authorized under sanctions imposed on Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
Iraq exported exactly 300 million barrels of oil in the latest phase, but orders are outstanding for another 96 million barrels which can be carried out into Phase 11 if the Security Council's sanctions committee agrees. — (AFP, United Nations)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)