UN oil monitors in Iraq are issuing notification forms to the captains of vessels loading Iraqi oil to prevent diversion of their cargo, UN officials said Tuesday.
The notification form, requiring a captain's signature, "clearly indicates the authorized destination of the purchased oil to prevent transshipment of Iraqi crude to a destination other than the one that is authorized in an approved contract," said the Office for the Iraq Program.
The decision comes on the heels of an incident in February in which two million barrels of crude destined for the United States were unloaded in the Far East.
The diversion resulted in a shortfall of millions of dollars for the UN's oil-for-food program, which allows Baghdad to use its oil proceeds to buy food and medicine.
Iraq's exports were down last week to 12.7 million barrels, compared to 16 million barrels one week prior.
The oil-for-food program aims to ease sanctions imposed on Iraq in the aftermath of its 1990 occupation of Kuwait.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)