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Iraqi protest against the unjust embargo continues. It seems that the spirit of resistance remains unbroken. A very brave action after all the war talk of the Bush Aministration, and just before the 11th anniversary of Um Almaarik.
I included three more recent articles, all about oil, all very interesting.
- Top UN official in Iraq for talks on oil deal.
- Iraq to cap 2002 U.N. oil sales at 2.2 mbpd-MEES.
- Iraq attacks oil deal, ahead of visit by UN envoy.
No Iraq oil shipments since Sat., no flow scheduled.
NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) - There have been no loadings of Iraq oil tankers since Saturday and no loadings are scheduled, U.N. officials said on Monday.
The stoppage of oil shipments has affected both Kirkuk crude which is shipped out of Ceyhan, Turkey and Basrah Light crude from Mina al-Bakr, Iraq, officials said.
There was a similar gap in loadings of Iraqi Kirkuk crude in Ceyhan, Turkey between January 2 and January 9.
Iraq has been fighting with the U.N. Iraqi sanctions committee, which has been setting oil prices retroactively since September. Baghdad claims the retroactive policy is slowing shipments
because it means Iraq's oil customers lose money.
The United States and Britain have been blocking any attempts by Iraq to set prices before shipments are made, claiming that setting prices retroactively helps thwart a surcharge not allowed
in the U.N. oil-for-food program.
Baghdad has denied it charges oil buyers a surcharge. Industry sources say the charge is 25 to 30 cents per barrel.
The head of the U.N. oil program, Benon Sevan, was due to arrive in Iraq on Monday.
The ruling Baath party newspaper, al-Thawra, on Monday called the oil-for-food program "evil" and "no substitute for the complete lifting of the unjust embargo" which was placed on Baghdad in
August 1990, after it invaded Kuwait.
At Mina al-Bakr, the Ancona has been in line to load crude since Dec. 25, but there were again no signs on Monday that it was ready to start loading oil, U.N. officials said.
The Front Lady and the Berge Nisa both completed loading Basrah Light on Saturday at Mina al-Bakr.At Ceyhan, the last tankers to load on Saturday were the Lucky Sailor and the Front Champion, U.N. officials said.
Top UN official in Iraq for talks on oil deal.
BAGHDAD, Jan 14 (Reuters) - A senior U.N. official arrived in Baghdad on Monday to talk with Iraq about the troubled "oil-for-food" humanitarian programme.
Benon Sevan, executive director of the programme and a U.N. undersecretary-general, is due to spend three weeks in Iraq to discuss the programme with U.N. and Iraqi government officials in his first trip to Baghdad since August 2000.
The oil-for-food programme allows Iraq to sell oil to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods for Iraqis suffering under 11-year-old U.N. sanctions.
Iraq to cap 2002 U.N. oil sales at 2.2 mbpd-MEES.
NICOSIA, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Iraq plans to cap 2002 U.N. oil sales at 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd), with 800,000 bpd to 900,000 bpd for internal use and trade with Jordan, Turkey, Syria
and the Gulf, the Middle East Economic Survey said.
MEES detailed Iraq's oil supply plan for 2002 as follows: 2.2 million bpd for United Nations sales, 350,000-400,000 bpd for internal use, 80,000 bpd for Turkey, 110,000 bpd for Jordan,
180,000 bpd for Syria and 40,000 bpd for the Gulf.
Iraq's oil plans are based on a higher sustainable output capacity of 3.1 million bpd this year versus 2.8 million bpd in 2000/2001, the weekly newsletter reported on Monday. The arrival of U.N.-approved spare parts has made the increase possible.
Baghdad aims eventually to reach its pre-1990 production capacity of about 3.5 million bpd. Sustainable capacity has climbed from 2.4 million bpd in 1998 to the current level of 3.05
million bpd, according to MEES.
Output capacity of 3.1 million bpd should be reached in the next few months, the newsletter said.
Iraqi officials told MEES the main reason the 3.5 million bpd mark has not been hit is because the United States and Britain continue to refuse or put on hold major contracts vital for development of the upstream sector.
A senior Iraqi oil official said that of $3.8 billion worth of equipment ordered under the U.N. oil-for-food programme, Iraq has received about $1.2 billion worth of material.
Iraq boasts the second largest proven oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia, with the latest official figure put at 112 billion barrels.
Iraq attacks oil deal, ahead of visit by UN envoy.
BAGHDAD, Jan 14 (Reuters) - A leading Iraqi newspaper on Monday called the "oil-for-food" programme imposed on Baghdad by the United Nations "evil", hours before the arrival of
a senior U.N. official to evaluate the troubled humanitarian programme.
"We do not consider the evil memorandum of understanding... as a permanent agreement rather than an interim procedure and it is no substitute for the complete lifting of the unjust embargo," the ruling Baath party newspaper al-Thawra said.
The paper threatened that Iraq would "not accept the memorandum for ever".
Benon Sevan, executive director of the programme and a U.N. undersecretary-general, was due to arrive in Iraq later on monday to review the programme with U.N. and Iraqi government officials in his first trip to Baghdad since August 2000.
The oil-for-food programme allows Iraq to sell oil to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods for Iraqis suffering under 11-year-old U.N. sanctions. Oil revenues have to be deposited in a U.N. account out of which the supplies and Gulf War reparations are paid.
Thawra sharply condemned the "wicked role" played by the U.N. Security Council's Iraq sanctions committee, responsible for vetting most of Iraq's purchases of goods under the oil pact. Any one of the council's 15 members can block purchasing contracts.
The U.S. representative at the committee has blocked nearly $5 billion worth of goods since the programme began five years ago. Sevan last week criticised a recent surge in "holds"
imposed by the committee on purchases.
The paper said Iraq has sold oil under the pact worth $50 billion since December 1996, but had received only $15 billion worth of goods.
"The U.N. cuts from the revenues have exceeded $18 billion, devoted to cover the costs of the U.N. staff who serve in the Iraq programme, weapons inspectors and the equipment used to
destroy Iraq's weapons and factories," it said.
U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in December 1998 and have not been allowed back in.
Thawra said the revenue received by Iraq under the programme amounted to only $10 per Iraqi per month which "does not cover basic necessities". Iraq would not accept anything less than a lifting of the sanctions, it added.
Sevan is expected to discuss in Baghdad Iraq's refusal to grant visas for U.N. staff or firms contracted by them for mine clearance in the northern provinces of the country, where the
United Nations rather than Baghdad controls the humanitarian programme, U.N. officials in New York said.