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|Wednesday, March 14, 2001, updated at 08:16(GMT+8)|
Iraq Earns Close to 40 Billion Dollars in Oil Revenue: UNIraq has earned close to 40 billion U.S. dollars since the start of the United Nations oil- for-food program in December 1996, UN said Tuesday.
The Office of the Iraq Program said the total Iraqi oil exported now stood at 2,307 million barrels, having earned some 38. 6 billion dollars in estimated revenue.
During the week of March 3 to 9, Iraq exported an average of 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, totaling 10.2 million barrels, the office said.
Meanwhile, the UN sanctions committee on Iraq approved five new oil purchase contracts last week, bringing the total of approved contracts to 121 for the lifting of over 343 million barrels of oil, it said.
The total value of contracts placed on hold by the committee increased slightly during the week, with 1,658 contracts worth over 3.35 billion dollars on hold, representing 17.1 percent of the value of all contracts circulated to the committee, the office added.
Under the United Nations Security Council resolution establishing the oil-for-food program, 66 percent of earning goes to fund the country's humanitarian needs and 30 percent is directed to the compensation committee which pays claims arising from Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The remainder goes to pay the costs of UN operations in the country.
UN imposed stringent sanctions on Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The sanctions cannot be lifted until Iraq is clarified to be free from weapons of mass destruction.
The UN arms inspectors have been away from Iraq since the US-led military strikes against the country in December 1998. Iraq and the UN held high-level talks last month at the UN headquarters in New York which was aimed to break the impasse. No breakthrough was yielded from the two-day talks.
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