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Iraqi oil exports rise under UN's 'oil-for-food' relief programme

Iraqi oil exports rise under UN's 'oil-for-food' relief programme

Iraq has earned an estimated €342 million (euros) by exporting 15.9 million barrels of crude over the past week - more than doubling revenues from the previous seven-day period under the "oil-for-food" programme, the United Nations office overseeing the humanitarian effort said today.

The Office of the Iraq Programme reported on Monday that the average price of Iraqi crude exported during the week of 14 to 20 July was approximately €23.65 or $20.45 per barrel. The previous week, Iraq earned €25.42 or $21.71 per barrel for the 6.8 million barrels lifted after oil exports resumed on 10 July.

During the same period, seven new oil purchase contracts covering 28 million barrels of Iraqi oil were approved. Since the current 150-day phase of the programme began on 4 July, a total of 59 contracts covering 199 barrels of oil have been approved, the Office said.

The total value of contracts placed on hold by the committee monitoring the sanctions against Baghdad rose slightly over the past week, from approximately $3.4 billion to $3.47 billion. The increase was attributed to the fact that while the committee released from hold 11 contracts valued at $22 million, it placed holds on 42 new contracts worth $78.4 million.