Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Glencore to continue buying Iraqi petrol

Glencore no longer has a UN black mark against it Keystone

Glencore, the Swiss trading company, did not contravene United Nations sanctions when it bought Iraqi oil say the authorities.

The Zug-based raw materials trader is among the main buyers of Iraq’s crude and it acquired one million barrels of petrol in February. It was supposed to be delivered to the United States under the terms of the UN’s oil-for-food programme.

The load of fuel was sent to Croatia instead. The UN sanctions committee suspected Glencore wanted to sell the crude for a higher price in Europe.

Under UN rules, petrol bought in Iraq is supposed to be shipped directly to the destination country. Temporary storage, a transfer onto another ship and pipeline transport (transhipment) are specifically banned.

Glencore say the temporary storage of the fuel in Croatia did not contravene UN regulations. The company also accepted to immediately pay the price difference between Europe and the US to the UN when contacted by the organisation.

The sanctions committee had asked the Swiss authorities to check if the petrol had been diverted from its planned destination. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said on Friday there was no proof Glencore had acted in an underhanded fashion.

A spokeswoman for Glencore said the company now considered the whole affair over and done with, and would continue buying Iraqi crude in the framework of the oil-for-food programme.

The UN also consider the whole business done with, as it is the role of individual states to say if a company is trustworthy.

swissinfo with agencies

Popular Stories

Most Discussed

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR