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12 March 2002
Oil-for-Food Background Information


Weekly Update

(2 - 8 March 2002)

With more contracts released from hold by the Security Council’s 661 sanctions committee than new ones placed on hold during the week in review, the value of “holds” dropped slightly from the previous week’s total of $5.32 billion to $5.27 billion. Those contracts released from hold, 47 in all valued at $134 million, included a large number for various types of vehicles, buses and mini-buses. The new “holds” comprised 37 contracts worth $79 million. Of the total “holds” covering 2,093 contracts for the purchase of various humanitarian supplies and equipment, 1,436 contracts, worth about $4.6 billion, were for humanitarian supplies and 657 contracts, worth $710 million, were for oil industry spare parts and equipment.

There were 252 contracts, worth $499 million, in the category of “inactive holds”, for which the suppliers had not provided the additional technical information requested by the “holding” Committee member(s) in over 60 days. However, in the category of “active holds”, there were also 658 contracts, worth almost $2 billion, for which although the suppliers had provided the requested information over 60 days ago, the “holding” Committee member(s) had not yet made a final decision.

In terms of Iraq’s oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme, at the average rate of just over 2 million barrels per day, the week’s volume reached 14.2 million barrels, generating an estimated €330 million (euros) or $285 million in revenue, at current prices and rate of exchange. The average price of Iraqi crude oil was approximately €23.10 or $20.15 per barrel. There were six liftings from Mina al-Bakr loading terminal, with 10.9 million barrels of oil, and four from Ceyhan, with 3.3 million barrels.

During the week, the United Nations oil overseers approved two new oil purchase contracts, bringing the total number of such approved contracts in current phase XI of the programme to 134, covering 324 million barrels of oil. So far out of the total volume approved, 156 million barrels have been lifted, netting an estimated revenue of €3.1 billion or $2.7 billion. Phase XI runs from 1 December 2001 to 29 May 2002.

Since the beginning of the programme on 10 December 1996, approximately $38.6 billion and €15.7 billion ($13.7 billion) in revenue has been generated from the export of some 2.96 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.

At the same time, humanitarian supply contracts worth some $32.5 billion have been both approved by the 661 Committee and “fast-tracked” by the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP), including $2.9 billion worth of contracts for oil industry spare parts and equipment. To date, $19.8 billion worth of humanitarian supplies and equipment have been delivered to Iraq, including $1.2 billion worth of oil industry equipment, while another $11 billion worth of humanitarian supplies and $1.7 billion worth of oil industry equipment are in the production and delivery pipeline.

As at 8 March 2002, about $1.8 billion and €231 million in unused funds still available in the United Nations Iraq Account were earmarked for oil spare parts and equipment and for the purchase of humanitarian supplies under special allocation aimed at addressing the needs of especially vulnerable groups. Also, there were 744 approved contracts for humanitarian supplies with a total value of $1.73 billion for which no funds were available.

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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