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21 August 2001  

Oil-for-Food Background Information


Weekly update

(11 - 17 August 2001)

Averaging almost 2 million barrels per day, Iraq’s weekly oil exports ending on 17 August, remained constant at 13.9 million barrels under the United Nations oil-for-food programme. Of the total seven loadings, five were from the Mina al-Bakr terminal with 10.9 million barrels of oil and two from Ceyhan with 3 million barrels. The week’s oil sales earned an estimated €299 million (euros) or $273 million in revenue at current prices and rates of exchange. The average price of Iraqi crude oil during the week was approximately €24.84 or $22.53 per barrel.

So far into the current phase X of the programme, which ends on 30 November 2001, Iraq has exported 79.5 million barrels of oil, for an estimated revenue of €1.75 billion or $1.6 billion. During the week, the United Nations oil overseers approved eight new oil purchase contracts for 11 million barrels of Basrah Light and 10 million barrels of Kirkuk crude. This brings the total number of approved oil purchase contracts in phase X to 86, covering 264 million barrels of oil, 164 million of which are for Basrah Light and 100 million for Kirkuk.

Iraqi oil sales of almost 2.58 billion barrels since the beginning of the programme on 10 December 1996, have generated an estimated revenue of some $38.6 billion and €8.4 billion (over $7.2 billion). 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 consent of the Security Council’s 661 sanctions committee. With the adoption of Security Council resolution 1330 (2000) on 5 December 2000, 72 per cent of the oil proceeds fund the humanitarian programme in Iraq, 59 per cent of which is for the 15 central and southern governorates and 13 per cent for the three northern governorates.

The value of contracts placed on hold by the 661 Committee dropped slightly from the previous week’s total of $3.5 billion to $3.48 billion, mostly owing to the release of a single high-value contract in the electricity sector. A gas turbine contract, valued at $77.8 million, which had been on hold for over one year, was released by the Committee on condition of close end-use monitoring by the United Nations observation mechanism in Iraq. In all, the Committee released from hold 26 contracts, worth $106.9 million, while placing on hold 49 new contracts, worth $78.6 million. Currently, 1,474 contracts are on hold, of which 996, worth over $2.9 billion, are for humanitarian supplies and 478 contracts, worth $500.8 million, for oil industry spare parts and equipment.

Contracts valued at $25.2 billion for humanitarian supplies and another $2 billion worth of contracts for oil industry spare parts and equipment have been approved by the 661 Committee and “fast-tracked” by the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) since the start of the programme. Of these, more than $14 billion worth of humanitarian supplies and $855 million worth of oil industry spare parts and equipment have been delivered to Iraq, while $11.1 billion worth of humanitarian supplies and $1.3 billion worth of oil spare parts and equipment are in the production and delivery pipeline.

As at 17 August, over $1.6 billion and €844 million 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