Iraq oil exports surge to 18.6 million barrels
The volume of oil exported by Iraq under UN supervision surged last week from 10.9 million to 18.6 million barrels, the office administering the United Nations oil-for-food program said Tuesday, November 20.
In the week ending November 17, there were six loadings at Iraq's gulf port of Mina Al-Bakr and five at the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, the only export outlets authorized under sanctions imposed on Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
The average price of Iraqi crude during the week was about $15.65 (€17.70) a barrel and revenue was estimated at $290 million (€330 million), the office said. Revenue so far in the current phase of the program, which runs from July 4 to November 30, is about €5.35 billion, or $4.73 billion.
The price of Iraqi oil has fallen from $24.30 a barrel since mid-September and early this month the office forecast that revenue for the phase as a whole was expected to reach only about $5.38 billion.
Only 72 percent of that—about $3.87 billion—is available to pay for imports under the program, compared with a forecast budget for the current phase of $5.5 billion. Of the revenue, 59 percent is used to purchase humanitarian supplies and oil equipment in government-controlled areas in central and southern Iraq and 13 percent for the northern Kurdish region, where goods are distributed by the UN.
Another 25 percent is used to compensate Kuwait for war damages, and the remaining three percent covers the administrative costs of the program and of the UN commission monitoring Iraq's disarmament.
Iraq has sold 270.1 million barrels of crude in the current phase, the 10th since the program was set up in December 1996 to alleviate the impact of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis. Orders are outstanding for another 125.9 million barrels, including two new contracts approved by the independent oil overseers last week, the office said. — (AFP, United Nations)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)