For the third consecutive week there were no Iraqi oil
exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme.
In the course of the week, the United Nations oil overseers
approved one new oil purchase contract for one million barrels of Kirkuk
crude, bringing the total number of approved oil contracts in extended phase
IX to 175. The approved contracts amount to 572
million barrels of oil, 351
million barrels of which are for Basrah Light and 221 million for Kirkuk.
So far in phase IX, which now ends on 3 July, Iraq has
exported 293 million barrels of oil for an estimated €6.66
billion (euros) or $5.7 billion in revenue, at
current prices and the rate of exchange. The
average price of Iraqi crude oil during the week was approximately €26.04
or $22.26 per barrel. Iraqi oil exports since
the beginning of the programme on 10 December 1996, total about 2.5 billion
barrels, having generated an estimated revenue of some $38.6 billion and €6.66
billion (or $5.7 billion at the current rate of exchange). The United States
dollar was replaced with the euro for the Iraqi oil purchases in early
November 2000, at the request of the Government of Iraq and with the
authorization of the Security Council’s 661 sanctions committee for Iraq.
Despite the 661 Committee’s further release from hold of
four additional humanitarian supply contracts on the condition of close
end-use monitoring by the United Nations observers in Iraq, which contain
“1051 list” items, the total value of contracts placed on hold by the
Committee rose slightly last week. It now stands at $3.2 billion, still
representing 14.7 per cent of the value of all contracts circulated to the
Committee. The released contracts were for sewage pipes, foot-and-mouth
disease vaccine and intelligent pigging.
Altogether during the week, the Committee released from hold
24 contracts worth $45.5 million, while placing holds on 37 new contracts
valued at $98.6 million. A single contract for the purchase of 2,500 computers
for the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research was among
the new contracts put on hold by the Committee. The computers are on the
“1051 list”. Requests for additional technical information remained the
most frequently cited reason by the Committee for putting a contract on hold.
Currently, there are 1,302 contracts on hold, 868 of which worth $2.78 billion
are for humanitarian supplies and 434 worth $421 million for oil industry
spare parts and equipment.
Since the start of the programme, the 661 Committee has
approved over $17 billion worth of humanitarian supply contracts, while the
Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) has processed another 2,198 contracts
valued at $4.9 billion under “fast-track” procedures, based on
pre-approved lists of supplies. Moreover, the Committee has approved 2,637
contracts worth $1.45 billion for the purchase of oil industry spare parts and
equipment, with OIP having “fast-tracked” another 318 contracts worth $265
million in this category of goods. “Fast-tracking” began in March 2000.
As at 22 June 2001, approximately $2 billion and €1.7
billion in uncommitted 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. Also, supplies valued at $11.1 billion, including over $1 billion worth
of oil spare parts and equipment, were in production and delivery pipeline.