Iraqi oil exports continue to rise, UN says
The volume of Iraqi oil exports under the UN's oil-for-food program contined to rise last week, totalling 17.4 million barrels, the United Nations said Tuesday, April 17. There were 12 loadings, seven at Iraq's Gulf port of Mina al-Bakr and five at Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, the only two outlets authorized under UN sanctions imposed on Iraq in August 1990.
"The average price of Iraqi crude during the week was approximately $21.45 or 24.05 euros a barrel," and Iraq raised an estimated 418 million euros in revenue, the office of the Iraq program said in its weekly update. Last week's sales, equivalent to 2.48 million barrels a day, brought the total volume of Iraqi crude exported since December 6, the start of the current 180-day phase of the program, to 180.0 million barrels.
Revenue in this phase—the ninth since the program was set up in December 1996—now exceeds 3.9 billion euros. For most of the past two years, Iraq's official exports have averaged a little over 2.1 million barrels a day. Another 600,000 barrels a day are used for local consumption or cross-border trade, UN officials estimate.
Three new oil purchase contracts for a total of five million barrels were approved last week by the UN oil overseers and the sanctions committee, the office said. Currently, there are 149 approved contracts awaiting completion for more than 459 million barrels of oil.
A total of 71 percent of Iraq's oil revenues is available for imports of food, medicine and other necessities under the program, set up to alleviate the impact of sanctions on the Iraqi people. Since March last year, 1,684 applications for more than $4 billion worth of humanitarian supplies have been approved by "fast-track" procedures which eliminate the need for vetting by the sanctions committee.
Another 162 contracts for $113 million worth of oil industry spare parts and equipment have also been fast-tracked, the office said. The total value of contracts placed on hold by the sanctions committee now exceeds $3.52 billion, it said. Of the total blocked, 1,138 contracts worth more than $3.0 billion were for humanitarian supplies and 544 contracts worth more than $437 million were for oil industry spare parts and equipment. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)