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Iraq exports 11.8 million barrels last week under UN’s oil-for-food scheme

Iraq exports 11.8 million barrels last week under UN’s oil-for-food scheme

Iraqi oil revenues for the week ending 7 February totalled $320 million based on the export of 11.8 million barrels, according to the United Nations office overseeing the humanitarian "oil-for-food" programme, which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum sales to buy relief supplies.

According to the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP), the exports averaged about 1.7 million barrels a day. There were 10 loadings from the authorized terminals: five each from Mina al-Bakr in Iraq and Ceyhan in Turkey, the only outlets allowed under the humanitarian scheme.

During the period, UN oil overseers approved eight new purchasing contracts for humanitarian supplies worth $10.5 billion, bringing the current total to 121, covering 312 million barrels of oil. Estimated revenue generated under the programme's current six-month phase, which runs through 3 June, now stands at $2.9 billion.

The UN Security Council established the oil-for-food programme on 14 April 1995. Since December 1996, some 3.3 billion barrels of Iraqi oil valued at about $62 billion have been exported under the programme. Of this amount, 72 per cent of the total has been allocated towards humanitarian needs nationwide since December 2000. The balance is distributed to a Compensation Fund for Persian Gulf War reparations, which receives 25 per cent, while 2.2 per cent covers UN administrative and operational costs of the programme, with the remaining 0.8 per cent going towards costs for the weapons inspection programme.

Since December 1996, about $42 billion worth of humanitarian supplies, including $3.6 billion worth of oil spare parts, have been approved by the Council's 661 sanctions committee and the OIP. Of this amount, some $26 billion worth of humanitarian supplies and equipment have been delivered to Iraq under the programme, including $1.6 billion worth of oil industry spare parts and equipment. An additional $10.8 billion worth of supplies are currently in the production and delivery pipeline.