Iraq Asks UN for Extra 1.5 Euros Per Oil Barrel
Iraq has asked the United Nations to pay an extra 1.5 Euros (1.29 dollars) for each barrel of oil exported to cover maintenance costs, Iraq's OPEC delegation chief said on Monday.
"It has been asked to the UN to pay a Euro and a half for each barrel to cover the expenses made to repair and maintain the oil pumping installations," said the Iraqi ambassador to Vienna, Naji Sanbri al-Hadrithi.
Under a UN deal, Iraq should get funds to cover such expenses, he told reporters.
"According to the memorandum of understanding, there is an agreement that we have to get funds to repair and maintain the installations," the Iraqi ambassador said.
"But those were not made because of the American and British attitude in the sanctions committee."
Under the UN oil-for-food program, funds are withdrawn from an escrow account in New York to finance Iraqi import contracts, most of which need the approval of a Security Council sanctions committee.
Iraq has been under sanctions ever since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait but the oil-for-food program allows Baghdad to export crude under strict UN supervision to finance imports of humanitarian supplies for its 22-million population.
The UN said last week that Iraq had sold more than 37 billion dollars worth of crude oil, or more than 2.146 billion barrels, since the beginning of the "oil-for-food" program in December 1996.
Iraq exports more than two million barrels a day, five percent of the world export markets.
Fears about a suspension of Iraqi exports have repeatedly spooked the oil market.
Asked if there was any risk of Iraq suspending exports, al-Hadrithi said: "Why should we?" but gave no further details – BAGHDAD (AFP)
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