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22 May 2001  

Oil-for-Food Background Information


Weekly update

(12 - 18 May 2001)

Iraqi oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme were down slightly in the week ending on 18 May, totaling 13.6 million barrels, at the rate of 1.94 million barrels per day. The revenue raised from the week’s exports was an estimated €365 million (euros) at current prices. Of the total nine loadings, four were at Mina al-Bakr, with the lifting of 7.7 million barrels and five at Ceyhan, with the lifting of 5.9 million barrels. The average price of Iraqi crude oil during the week was approximately $23.62 or €26.88 per barrel.

Phase IX oil exports stood at 252.8 million barrels, having generated an estimated €5.7 billion in revenue, at current prices. Since the start of the programme on 10 December 1996, Iraq has exported about 2.46 billion barrels of oil, for an estimated revenue of some $38.6 billion and €5.7 billion.

During the week, the United Nations oil overseers approved two new oil purchase contracts for two million barrels each of Basrah Light and Kirkuk crude. Currently, there are 168 approved contracts for the lifting of over 549 million barrels of oil, of which 339 million barrels are for Basrah Light and 210 million for Kirkuk.

The total value of contracts placed on hold by the Security Council’s 661 sanctions committee remained almost constant at $3.7 billion, representing 17.7 per cent of the value of all contracts circulated to the Committee. In the course of the week, the Committee lifted the hold on 31 contracts worth $108.8 million, and placed on hold 24 new contracts, valued at $166 million. Among “released” contracts were supplies for various types of trucks, radio communication, power station and medical equipments, forklifts, water tankers, excavators, turbine blades and sprinkler irrigation systems, while the new “holds” also included various trucks, gas turbines, pesticides, a tower crane, excavators and parts.

Of the total 1,694 contracts on hold, 1,153 contracts worth $3.26 billion were for humanitarian supplies, while 541 contracts valued at $447 million were for oil industry spare parts and equipment.

In phases IV to IX that are currently active, the 661 Committee and the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) have approved 7,781 contracts worth $16.8 billion for the purchase of humanitarian supplies, including 2,005 contracts worth $4.63 billion processed by OIP under “fast-track” procedures, based on pre-approved lists of supplies. In addition, the Committee has approved 2,460 contracts worth $1.37 billion for the purchase of oil industry spare parts and equipment, while OIP has “fast-tracked” another 238 contracts worth $195 million in this category. The “fast-track” procedures began to be implemented in March 2000.

As at 18 May 2001, $2 billion and another €2.4 billion 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