Continuing an erratic pattern seen over the past year, Iraqi oil exports jumped sharply to hit an unprecedented high over the past week, according to the United Nations office running the humanitarian "oil-for-food" programme that allows Baghdad to use a portion of its crude revenues to purchase relief aid.
Exporting 21.2 million barrels at an average of approximately €26.35 (euros) $25.80 each, Baghdad earned about €559 million or $547 million over the past week, the Office of the Iraq Programme reported today.
This marks a tripling in volume since the beginning of the current phase of the programme on 30 May. During that period, daily exports fluctuated at around $1 million.
UN officials said the recent sharp jump comes amid numerous uncertainties among oil buyers arising from occasional suspensions by Baghdad, the practice of "retroactive pricing" put in place to deter illegal kickbacks, and the general international climate with regard to Iraq.