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Just for interest, this article spells out why lifting the "oil embargo" will not make any great quantitative difference to oil production and export in Iraq - i.e. that Iraq's efforts to reach the $5.2 billion/six months ceiling have been scuppered by the combined effects of sanctions and the state of the world's oil markets. I think it's good that the press should emphasise that the Sanctions Committee will be crucial in determining at what point industry and services will be able to be rebuilt. If the current ceiling really is "removed" from the legislation, then will more campaign attention focus on the Sanctions Committee itself? It will be important to keep the spotlight on whether their activities are facilitating or impeding the restoration of the health (and other social) infrastructure of the country. ********************************** By LEON BARKHO BAGHDAD, Iraq (January 12, 1999 11:11 a.m. EST http://www.nandotimes.com) - As oil-producing countries try to trim excess production, Iraq on Tuesday announced plans to raise its output. Iraq hopes to boost production to 3 million barrels per day from the current 2.5 million barrels, and to 3.5 million barrels within two years. Faleh al-Khayat, the Oil Ministry's director-general of planning, said the increase was contingent upon receiving spare parts for the country's ailing oil industry, battered by more than eight years of U.N. trade sanctions. Iraq has complained of the slow delivery of spare parts under the U.N.-approved oil-for-food program, which is an exception from the sanctions. Special chemicals for treating crude oil already have started arriving in Iraq. The news helped push oil prices lower this morning on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Contracts for future delivery of crude oil fell 28 cents to $13.16 a barrel. Iraq's oil exports were banned in August 1990 as part of U.N. trade sanctions imposed to punish Iraq for invading Kuwait. If sanctions are removed, Iraq can implement contracts it has signed with foreign firms, including Russian and Chinese, to add another 2.5 million barrels per day to its production, al-Khayat said. In December 1996, the United Nations implemented the oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq to export up to $5.2 billion worth of oil every six months to buy food and other humanitarian goods. Al-Khayat said even with the increased output Iraq cannot hope to earn $5.2 billion in six months because of weak world oil prices. Iraq's oil reserves are the world's second largest after Saudi Arabia. Its quota set by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries before the invasion of Kuwait was a little more than 3 million barrels a day. ************************************** -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html