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4 June 2002
Oil-for-Food Background Information


Weekly Update

(25 - 31 May 2002)

Iraqi oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme surged from the previous week’s low of 9 million barrels to 15.3 million barrels in the week ended 31 May, earning an estimated €355 million (euros) or $333 million in revenue, at current prices and rate of exchange. There were a total of 11 liftings from the two authorized loading terminals of Mina al-Bakr and Ceyhan, of which six were at the former, with 8.4 million barrels of oil, and five loadings at the latter, with 6.9 million barrels. The average price of Iraqi crude oil during the week was approximately €23.30 or $21.75 per barrel.

Phase XI of the programme ended on 29 May. The final figures for that phase show that, in all 225.9 million barrels of oil were lifted through 142 loadings, which generated some €4.89 billion or $4.59 billion in estimated revenue. Of the total loadings, 85 were from Mina al-Bakr terminal, with a volume of 148.9 million barrels of oil, and 57 were from Ceyhan terminal, with 77 million barrels. With regard to the market share of Iraqi oil exports, 16 per cent went to the European market, 58.7 per cent to the Americas/Caribbean market, 23.7 per cent to the Far East and 1.6 per cent to South Africa.

A new phase of the programme, phase XII, began on 30 May, as stipulated under Security Council resolution 1409 (2002). Phase XII will end on 25 November 2002. So far, the volume of oil exported in this phase stands at 8.3 million barrels, for an estimated revenue of €192 million or $180 million. There are 52 approved oil purchase contracts, for almost 95 million barrels of oil, which were transferred from phase XI to phase XII.

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 €17.7 billion ($15.7 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.

Despite the resumed oil exports and revenues, the programme continues to face funding difficulties. Owing to a funding shortfall, currently 744 contracts for humanitarian supplies, worth over $1.86 billion, although approved by the United Nations, cannot be further processed.

To date, some $35.2 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 about $3.2 billion worth of oil industry spare parts and equipment. Over $22.4 billion worth of supplies and equipment have been delivered to Iraq, including $1.4 billion worth oil spare parts and equipment, while another $10.5 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.

During the week, the 661 Committee released from hold 44 contracts worth $79 million, while it placed on hold 23 new contracts worth $47 million. There are now 2,115 contracts on hold for the purchase of various humanitarian supplies and equipment, valued at over $5.2 billion. Of these, 1,440 contracts worth about $4.5 billion are for humanitarian supplies and 675 contracts worth $732 million are 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