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3 April 2001  

Oil-for-Food Background Information


Update for the period

(24 - 30 March 2001)

Under the United Nations oil-for-food programme Iraq exported an average of 1.8 million barrels of oil a day, totaling 12.7 million barrels in the week 24 to 30 March 2001. There were eight loadings, five of which took place at Ceyhan and three at Mina al-Bakr terminals. The revenue raised from the week’s total oil exports was an estimated €284 million (euros) at current prices. The average price of Iraqi crude oil during the week was approximately $19.86 or €22.35 (euros) per barrel.

In current phase IX, which runs from 6 December 2000 to 3 June 2001, Iraq has exported 147.4 million barrels of oil, so far, earning an estimated €3.1 billion (euros) in revenue. Since the beginning of the oil-for-food programme on 10 December 1996, Iraqi oil exports have totaled 2,354 million barrels for an estimated revenue of some $38.6 billion and €3.1 billion (euros).

The United Nations oil monitors in Iraq have begun issuing notification forms to the masters of vessels loading Iraqi oil for their signature. The notification form clearly indicates the authorized destination of the purchased oil. It is intended to prevent the diversion and trans-shipment of Iraqi crude oil to a destination other than that authorized in an approved contract.

During the week, the United Nations oil overseers, on behalf of the Security Council’s 661 sanctions Committee, approved six more oil purchase contracts, for 10 million barrels of Basrah Light and four million barrels of Kirkuk crude. There are now 139 approved contracts for the lifting of over 415 million barrels of oil, 255 million of which are for Basrah Light and 160 million for Kirkuk.

Once again, the total value of contracts placed on hold by the 661 Committee increased, standing at almost $3.44 billion, covering 1,685 contracts. Of these, 1,133 contracts worth about $3 billion were for humanitarian supplies, while 552 contracts worth $437 million were for oil industry spare parts and equipment. The Committee members often cite the lack of technical specifications and potential dual use as reasons for placing a contract on hold.

In phases IV to IX, the Committee has now approved 5,500 contracts worth over $11.5 billion for humanitarian supplies and another 2,412 contracts worth more than $1.3 billion for the purchase of oil industry spare parts and equipment. The Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) has notified the 661 Committee of 1,592 contracts worth about $3.7 billion for humanitarian supplies which have been processed under the “fast track” procedures based on pre-approved lists, while another 131 contracts worth over $86 million have also been “fast tracked” for oil industry spare parts and equipment.

As at 30 March 2001, over $2.76 billion and €2 billion (euros) in unused funds were available in the United Nations escrow account for the issuance of additional letters of credit for the purchase of humanitarian supplies and oil spare parts and equipment by the Government of Iraq.

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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