News

20 April 1998

UNITED NATIONS REPORT, MONDAY, APRIL 20, 1998

[EXCERPT]

Daily Highlights

Friday, 17 April, 1998



This daily news round-up is prepared by the Central News Section of
the Office of Communications and of Public Information at the United
Nations.


-- Secretary-General recommends that Security Council allow Iraq to
spend $300 million to repair oil infrastructure.
--------




--------

SECRETARY-GENERAL RECOMMENDS THAT SECURITY COUNCIL ALLOW IRAQ TO SPEND
$300 MILLION TO REPAIR OIL INFRASTRUCTURE.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended that the Security Council
authorize Iraq to purchase $300 million worth of spare parts and
equipment to repair its deteriorating oil infrastructure.
The Secretary-General's recommendations, contained in a report to the
Security Council released on Friday, are based on the work of oil
experts dispatched by the Council to determine whether Iraq can export
more oil under an expanded oil-for-food programme. The Council had
expanded that programme in February under resolution 1153 (1998),
which allowed Iraq to export up to $5.2 billion worth of oil every six
months -- up from $2 billion under the current arrangements.
The experts, along with two United Nations oil overseers, visited Iraq
from 12 to 22 March and concluded that the country's oil industry "is
in a lamentable state". If the required spare parts are furnished
immediately and oil prices stay constant at the current price level of
$10.50 per barrel, Iraq could only export a maximum of $3 billion
during a six-month period, according to the experts. By December, they
predicted, that figure could rise to $3.9 billion, based on a
projected two-dollar increase in the price of a barrel of oil.
Both the external experts and the United Nations overseers found
Iraq's request for $300 million worth of spare parts reasonable,
stating that this reflects "only the most essential and urgent needs
of the Iraqi oil industry."
In making his recommendation to the Council, the Secretary-General
says it should "authorize the export to Iraq of the equipment
necessary to enable Iraq to increase most urgently the export of
petroleum and petroleum products."


--------
...............