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27 February 2001  
Oil- for- Food Background Information


Update for the period
17 - 23 February 2001

There has been a revenue loss of over $2.2 billion or €2.4 billion (euros) to the programme since December 2000, as a result of reduced Iraqi oil exports, the United Nations oil overseers told the Security Council’s 661 sanctions Committee yesterday.  Should this trend continue, revenue generated in current phase IX could be around $3.5 billion or €3.9 billion (euros).  However, if export levels return to “normal”, the expected income could rise to $5.7 billion or €6.3 billion (euros).

The third revision of the February prices for the purchase of Iraqi crude oil was approved on Friday by the 661 Committee.  The price adjustment was in reaction to further changes in the oil market and at the request of the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO).  The new prices will be in force until 15 March for Kirkuk crude sold in the United States and European markets, as well as for Basrah Light destined for the United States market.  The newly approved price of Basrah Light for the European and Far East markets will be valid throughout March.

Iraqi oil exports during the week of 17 - 23 February witnessed yet another modest increase, totaling 12.2 million barrels through seven loadings.  The estimated revenue from these exports was €267 million (euros) at current prices.  Iraq so far has exported 78.3 million barrels of oil, earning over €1.73 billion (euros) in phase IX, which began on 6 December 2000.  The cumulative total oil exports since the beginning of the programme on 10 December 1996 stands at 2,284 million barrels, for an estimated revenue of $38.6 billion and €1.73 billion (euros).

Ten new oil purchase contracts were approved during the week by the United Nations oil overseers and the 661Committee for eight million barrels of Kirkuk crude and 12 million barrels of Basrah Light.  Currently, there are 113 approved contracts for the lifting of over 303 million barrels of oil, comprising 182.4 million barrels of Basrah Light and 120.6 million barrels of Kirkuk.

The total value of contracts placed on hold by the 661 Committee has continued to rise, standing at over $3.35 billion or 17.1 per cent of the value of all contracts circulated to the Committee.  Of this total, $2.9 billion was for humanitarian supplies and $436 million for oil industry spare parts and equipment.

During the week, 24 contracts worth $65.6 million were released from hold by the Committee and 36 new contracts worth $128.1 million were put on hold by the Committee for various reasons.  The recently released contracts were for an irrigation system, water treatment supplies, spare parts for pumps, while the “holds” included different types of trucks, cranes, water tankers and excavators.

In phases IV to VIII, the Committee has now approved over $11.1 billion worth of contracts for humanitarian supplies, while an additional $3.15 billion worth of contracts have been processed by the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) under “fast track” procedures, based on pre-approved lists of supplies.  The Committee has also approved 2,375 contracts worth more than $1.29 billion for the purchase of oil industry spare parts and equipment.  OIP has “fast tracked” another 100 contracts worth $63.8 million in this category. 

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Produced for media and public information – not an official United Nations Document
For further information please contact Hasmik Egian, OIP - NY, 1.212.963.4341