Iraq continues to ship oil from Mina Al-Bakr

Published December 24th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Iraq continued its oil exports Friday with a loaded tanker pulling out from the southern port of Mina al-Bakr. 


According to an oil ministry official, cited by the official INA news agency, a ship carrying 273,590 tones of oil left the harbor. 


"Other tankers are waiting to be loaded with oil next week, in conformity with the (UN's) oil-for-food program," the official said. 


The oil-for-food program was authorized in December 1996 to make up for a shortage of food and medical supplies in Iraq since the UN imposed economic sanctions on the country after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. 


After suspending oil operations for 12 days, Iraq resumed oil exports December 12. Baghdad had halted production when the UN refused its request to add a 40 cent surcharge for every barrel of oil, from which Iraq would have received the revenues directly.  


Under the oil-for-food program, the UN controls the money that Iraq earns through oil sales. 


Last week, the UN said three shipments of oil, worth 60 million dollars, left Mina al-Bakr terminal. Currently, no shipments are scheduled to leave the Turkish port of Cehyan. 


The UN has said Iraq's total oil exports since the start of the program in December 1996 has been almost 2.21 billion barrels for an estimated revenue of more than $38.6 billion. 


This past week, the UN Security Council's sanction committee rejected a request from Iraq for a 70-cent to 80-cent reduction in the price of oil shipped to Europe.—AFP. 

©--Agence France Press. 

© 2000 Mena Report (

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