Iraq Exported $8.285 billion of Crude Oil in Last Half Year
Iraq exported 8.285 billion dollars worth of crude oil under UN supervision in the recently ended 180-day phase of its oil-for-food program, the United Nations said on Monday.
After deductions -- mostly war reparations to Kuwait -- this would leave 5.477 billion dollars for imports of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies in the same period, an unofficial calculation showed.
The phase was the seventh since the program was established in December 1996.
Import contracts may be approved by the UN after a phase has ended, and supplies are often delivered in a later phase.
By May 30, the UN's sanctions committee had approved import contracts worth a total of 11.486 billion dollars over the previous three and a half years, and 7.663 billion dollars worth of supplies had reached Iraq.
The office, which administers the program, said Iraq had exported 12.4 million barrels of oil for an estimated value of 220 million dollars in the final week of phase seven, which ended at midnight Thursday.
The Security Council immediately extended the program to run for another 180 days.
Phase seven was the first since the council removed the limit on the amount of oil Iraq was allowed to sell, and export revenues were larger than in any previous phase.
But, thanks to increases in the international price of oil, the total volume of crude exported in phase seven, 342.5 million barrels, was less than that in either of the two previous phases.
In phase five, which ended just over a year ago when prices were still in a trough, Iraq exported 360.8 million barrels of crude worth 3.947 billion dollars.
As oil prices almost doubled, it exported 389.6 million barrels worth 7.402 billion dollars in phase six.
Under rules laid down by the Security Council, 53 percent of the revenue is set aside for imports in the government-controlled regions of central and southern Iraq, and 13 percent for the three Kurdish governorates in the north.
Thirty percent of the revenue is paid into the UN Compensation Fund for victims of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
Another 2.2 percent goes to the UN's costs in administering the program, which employs 415 international and 1,300 local staff in Iraq, plus 67 people in New York.
The administrative costs of the UN's Iraqi arms control body, the Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), absorb 0.8 percent of oil revenues and 1.0 percent is paid into an escrow account.
The latest data available from the office of the Iraq program shows that 4.939 billion dollars worth of food supplies had reached the country since the oil-for-food program began.
Another 904 million dollars of medical supplies had been delivered, together with 361 million dollars of goods in the electricity sector, 361 million for agriculture, 287 million for oil spare parts and 241 million for food handling.
Iraq had received 115 million dollars worth of supplies for water and sanitation and 64 million for education, the office said – BAGHDAD (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)