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24 December 2002
Oil-for-Food Background Information


Weekly Update

Iraqi Exports Under United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme average 2 million Barrels Per Day

Iraqi exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme totaled 13.9 million barrels for the week ending 20 December – an average of about two million barrels per day.

There were 11 loadings for the week (14-20 December) from the authorized terminals: three from the Iraqi port of Mina al-Bakr (5.2 million barrels) and eight from the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan (8.7 million barrels). These are the only outlets for Iraqi oil allowed under the oil-for-food programme. Total exports for the week (13.9 million barrels) generated estimated revenue of €352 million (euros) or $361 million, at current prices and rates of exchange. The average price of Iraqi crude for the reporting period was approximately €24.60 or $25.25 per barrel.

Seventeen new contracts were approved by the oil overseers for the week (14-20 December), bringing the current total to 64, covering 178.3 million barrels of oil. Estimated revenue generated from the beginning of phase Xlll (5 December – 3 June 2003) at the current rate of exchange, stands at $508 million.

Contract Approvals

Of a total 4,448 contracts for humanitarian supplies worth about $8.4 billion processed by the United Nations Secretariat under the Goods Review List (GRL) and new procedures under Security Council resolution 1409 (2002), the Office of the Iraq Programme has approved 3,124 contracts worth about $4.2 billion (49.8 per cent in terms of value) after assessment by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that they do not contain items on the Goods Review List.

Approvals include 958 contracts worth more than $1.5 billion that had previously been on hold by the 661 Sanctions Committee. These have now been reviewed by UNMOVIC/IAEA under para 18 of the procedures of resolution 1409 (2002).

Of the total contracts, 1,155 worth about $3.7 billion (43.8 per cent in terms of value) are on GRL Non Compliant status. UNMOVIC and IAEA will require additional technical information from suppliers to enable final assessments.

So far, 182 contracts worth $590.3 million have been found by UNMOVIC/IAEA to contain one or more GRL items. Of these, 82 contracts worth $104 million have been reviewed by the 661 Sanctions Committee, of which, 19 contracts worth $7.7 million have been approved. Nine have lapsed because the suppliers have not submitted a petition within 10 working days of the denial.  Eight of the 82 contracts, worth $20.6 million, have been rejected because of a “high risk of diversion to military use.” An additional 45 contracts worth $58.9 million have been denied approval by the 661 Committee, pending appeal.

Revenue shortfall

Due to a cumulative oil revenue shortfall dating from phase VIII (9 June - 5 December 2000) through phase Xll of the programme, 2,215 UN-approved  humanitarian supply contracts worth some $4.2 billion, currently lack funds. The sectors affected by the revenue shortfall are: agriculture ($707 million); food handling ($529 million); food ($465 million); electricity ($479 million); health ($493 million); water and sanitation ($419 million); housing ($413 million); education ($311 million); telecommunications and transportation ($342 million).


The oil-for-food programme was established by the Security Council on 14 April 1995. Some 3.27 billion barrels of Iraqi oil valued at about $60.3 billion have been exported under the programme since December 1996. Of this amount, 72 per cent of the total has been allocated towards humanitarian needs nationwide. The balance goes to: Gulf War reparations through a Compensation Fund (25 per cent); UN administrative and operational costs for the programme (2.2 per cent) and costs for the weapons inspection programme (0.8 per cent).

Since December 1996 about $40.5 billion worth of humanitarian supplies, including $3.6 billion worth of oil spare parts, have been approved by the 661 Sanctions Committee and the Office of the Iraq Programme. Of this amount, some $25.8 billion worth of humanitarian supplies and equipment have been delivered to Iraq under the oil-for-food programme, including $1.6 billion worth of oil industry spare parts and equipment. An additional $10.4 billion worth of supplies are currently in the production and delivery pipeline.

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Produced for media and public information – not an official United Nations Document
For further information please contact Hasmik Egian Tel: 212 963 4341 email: egian@un.org or Ian Steele Tel: 212 963 1646 email: steelei@un.org