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29 May 2002
Oil-for-Food Background Information


Weekly Update

(18 - 24 May 2002) 

While remaining well below the expected average of 2.2 – 2.1 million barrels per day, Iraqi oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme gathered pace, totaling 9 million barrels in the week 18 – 24 May.  The week’s exports generated an estimated €220 million (euros) or $205 million in revenue, at current prices and rate of exchange, raising the overall estimated revenue in current phase XI of the programme to €4.74 billion or $4.36 billion. 

Of the six loadings during the week in review, four took place from Mina al-Bakr, with 7 million barrels of oil, and two from Ceyhan, with 2 million barrels.  The average price of Iraqi crude oil was, approximately, €24.55 or $22.65 per barrel. 

 There are now 158 approved oil purchase contracts in phase XI, including one new contract approved by the United Nations oil overseers in the course of the week.  The quantity of oil approved for export under these contracts amounts to 374 million barrels, of which 214 million barrels are for Basrah Light and 160 million barrels for Kirkuk crude.  Iraq, so far in this phase, has exported 223 million barrels of oil out of the approved amount of 374 million barrels.  Phase XI ends on 29 May 2002. 

Since the beginning of the programme on 10 December 1996, Iraqi oil exports of more than 3 billion barrels of oil have netted an estimated $38.6 billion and €17.4 billion ($15.3 billion) in revenue.  The humanitarian programme receives 72 per cent of the oil proceeds, with 59 per cent allocated to the 15 central and southern governorates and 13 per cent to the three northern governorates. 

Owing to a funding shortfall in the current phase, some 678 humanitarian supply contracts, worth over $1.7 billion, while approved by the United Nations, lack funding and cannot be further processed.  

To date, some $34.8 billion worth of contracts for the purchase of various humanitarian supplies and equipment have been both approved by the Security Council’s 661 sanctions committee and “fast-tracked” by the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP), including $3.1 billion worth of oil industry spare parts and equipment.  Over $22.2 billion worth of supplies and equipment have been delivered to Iraq, including $1.4 billion worth oil spare parts and equipment, while another $10.7 billion worth of supplies and equipment, for which funds have been available, are in the production and delivery pipeline, including $1.7 billion worth of oil industry equipment.  

Currently there are 2,160 humanitarian supply and equipment purchase contracts, valued at $5.3 billion, that have been placed on hold by the 661 Committee, including 35 new contracts, worth $116 million, put on hold in the course of this week.  The Committee released from hold 16 contracts, worth $30 million.  The “holds” cover 1,469 humanitarian supply contracts, worth about $4.56 billion, and 691 contracts, worth $741 million, for oil industry spare parts and equipment.  

Paragraph 18 of the new set of procedures for the processing and review of contracts for humanitarian supplies and equipment under Security Council resolution 1409 (2002) requires that contracts currently on hold be divided into two categories.  The first category would comprise contracts that contain “dual use” item(s), as determined by the United Nations Secretariat experts, which will be returned to the submitting Mission or United Nations agency for possible re-submission under the new procedures.  The second category would include all other contracts currently on hold and will be re-circulated by OIP under the new procedures.  It is foreseen that upon the completion of these processes, there will no longer be contracts on hold.

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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