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23 October 2001  

Oil-for-Food Background Information


Weekly Update

(13 - 19 October 2001)

 In the week 13 – 19 October 2001, Iraq exported 15.9 million barrels of oil, registering a slight increase from the previous week’s total of 14.7 million barrels.  There were five loadings each at the two authorized loading terminals of Mina al-Bakr and Ceyhan, with 9.9 million barrels of oil from the former, and six million barrels from the latter.  An estimated €310 million (euros) or $280 million in revenue was earned from the week’s exports, at current prices and rate of exchange, bringing the total estimated revenue in current phase X of the programme to €4.5 billion or just over $4 billion.  The average price of Iraqi crude oil during the week was approximately €19.45 or $17.60 per barrel. 

During the week, the United Nations oil overseers approved three new oil purchase contracts.  There are now 134 approved oil purchase contracts in phase X, for 378 million barrels of oil, 229 million of which are for Basrah Light and 149 million for Kirkuk crude.  So far, Iraq has exported 211.1 million barrels of oil.  Phase X ends on 30 November 2001.  

Since the beginning of the oil-for-food programme on 10 December 1996, some $38.6 billion and €11.2 billion ($9.7 billion) in estimated revenue has been generated from the export of more than 2.7 billion barrels of oil.  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. 

In the course of the programme, over $29 billion worth of humanitarian supply contracts have been both approved by the Security Council’s 661 sanctions committee and “fast-tracked” by the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP), including $2.4 billion worth of contracts for oil industry spare parts and equipment.  To date, more than $15.4 billion worth of humanitarian supplies and $938 million worth of oil industry spare parts and equipment have been delivered to Iraq.  Another $11.2 billion worth of humanitarian supplies and $1.5 billion worth of oil spare parts and equipment are in the production and delivery pipeline. 

By the end of the week, the value of contracts placed on hold by the 661 Committee stood at $3.99 billion, up from the previous week’s total of $3.85 billion.  Two high-value contracts, one in the health sector for an oxygen plant, worth $58.3 million, and another in the oil industry sector, worth $44.1 million, contributed to the overall increase in the value of  “holds”.  During the week, the Committee released from hold 23 contracts, worth $61.1 million, while placing on hold 44 new contracts, worth $164.5 million.  In all, 1,500 contracts were on hold, including 1,016 for humanitarian supplies, worth $3.45 billion, and 484 contracts for industry spare parts and equipment, worth $537 million. 

At a briefing to the 661 Committee on the implementation of the programme in the agricultural sector, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted that, as at 30 September 2001, almost $3 billion worth of agricultural supply and equipment contracts had been submitted, of which 81 per cent or $2.4 billion worth had been approved, while $420 million worth or 14 per cent had been placed on hold.  FAO expressed concern at the level of “holds”, especially in view of the impact on the sector of two consecutive years of severe drought in Iraq. 

As at 19 October, almost $1.5 billion and €712 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