Iraq exports $265 million worth of petroleum under UN 'oil-for-food' scheme

Iraq exports $265 million worth of petroleum under UN 'oil-for-food' scheme

The Baghdad Government has earned an additional €296 million (euros) - equal to about $265 million - under the United Nations oil-for-food programme, the office running the effort announced today.

Iraq garnered the revenue over the past week by exporting 13.9 million barrels of crude for an average price of approximately €25.80 or $22.77 per barrel, the UN Office of the Iraq Programme said.

Over the course of the week, UN oil overseers approved six new oil purchase contracts covering 17 million barrels of petroleum, bringing to 78 the total number of contracts approved since the current phase of the programme began on 4 July.

Meanwhile, the Security Council panel monitoring the sanctions against Baghdad has released from hold 15 contracts worth $77.5 million, according to the Office of the Iraq Programme. However, the panel - known as the 661 committee for the resolution that established it - placed 51 new contracts worth $208.7 million on hold, raising the total value of contracts on hold to $3.5 billion.

Altogether, 1,450 contracts are currently on hold, including nearly 1,000 worth over $3 billion relating to the provision of humanitarian supplies. The newly placed "holds" include a large number of trucks and various types of vehicles, the Office said.

Contracts are generally put on hold because they lack technical specifications or because the goods in question have the potential to be used for purposes other than those stated.