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15 May 2001  

Oil-for-Food Background Information


Weekly update

(5 - 11 May 2001)

The volume of Iraqi oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme remained almost constant in the week 5 to 11 May 2001, at 14.5 million barrels. At the rate of 2.07 million barrels a day, the week’s total oil exports generated an estimated €377 million (euros) in revenue at current prices. There were 10 loadings at Mina al-Bakr and Ceyhan terminals, of which four were at Mina al-Bakr, with the lifting of 8.4 million barrels of oil, and six at Ceyhan with the lifting of 6.1 million barrels. The average price of Iraqi crude oil during the week was approximately $22.95 or €26.00 (euros) per barrel.

So far in phase IX, which ends on 3 June 2001, Iraq has exported 239.2 million barrels of oil for an estimated €5.4 billion (euros) in revenue. Since the start of the programme on 10 December 1996, the oil exports have totaled over 2.4 billion barrels, having raised an estimated $38.6 billion and €5.4 billion (euros) in revenue.

During the week, the United Nations oil overseers approved six new oil purchase contracts for 13 million barrels of Basrah Light and six million barrels of Kirkuk crude. Currently, there are 166 approved contracts for the lifting of over 520 million barrels of oil, of which 318 million are for Basrah Light and 202 million for Kirkuk.

There was a sudden jump of almost $200 million in the value of contracts placed on hold by the Security Council’s 661 sanctions committee last week, with the total standing at $3.7 billion. A single contract in the electricity sector valued at $147.5 million which was put on hold, contributed to the overall increase. The value of contracts on hold represents 17.8 per cent of the value of all contracts circulated to the 661 Committee. Of the total 1,690 contracts on hold, 1,145 contracts worth $3.26 billion were for humanitarian supplies, while 545 contracts valued at $442 million were for oil industry spare parts and equipment. Committee members often cite the lack of technical specifications and potential dual use as reasons for placing a contract on hold.

In the week 5 to 11 May 2001, the Committee released 24 contracts from hold worth $42 million and placed another 24 new contracts on hold valued at $238.4 million. The recently released contracts include buses, firefighting equipment, raw materials for the production of various medicines, trailer trucks, turbine system equipment and excavators, while the new “holds” include diesel locomotives, FM radio transmitters, water and sewage pumps, generators, medical and laboratory equipment.

In phases IV to IX that are currently active, the 661 Committee and the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) have approved 7,687 contracts worth $16.6 billion for the purchase of humanitarian supplies, including 1,952 contracts worth $4.52 billion processed by OIP under “fast-track” procedures based on pre-approved lists of supplies. In addition, the Committee has approved 2,453 contracts worth over $1.34 billion for the purchase of oil industry spare parts and equipment, while OIP has “fast-tracked” another 221 contracts worth $161 million in this category. The “fast-track” procedures began to be implemented in March 2000.

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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