Iraqi crude exports plummet on suspension of UN Oil-for-Food Programme
Exports and revenues for the week ending 21 March reached 3.1 million barrels and $63 million respectively, compared with 12.7 million and $340 million for the week ending 14 March. The daily export average was 443,000 barrels compared with 1.8 million barrels the previous week.
On 17 March, Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the temporary withdrawal of humanitarian personnel from Iraq because he was no longer in a position to guarantee their security. Although oil continued to flow through the oil pipeline from northern Iraq to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, the UN’s independent oil overseers were withdrawn from the Iraqi oil platform at Mina al-Bakr in the south. These are the only outlets for Iraqi oil exports allowed under the Oil-for-Food Programme.
There were three loadings from the authorized terminals during the week, one from Mina al-Bakr (2 million barrels) and two from Ceyhan (1.1 million barrels). The last recorded loading at Ceyhan was a shipment of about 625,000 barrels on 20 March. No other vessels are currently expected at Ceyhan, although storage tanks at the terminal are near capacity.