Iraq confirms new oil minister
BAGHDAD, August 15, 2016 – In a series of parliamentary shifts, Iraq’s government approved Jabar Ali Al Luaibi, former head of state-run South Oil Company, as new oil minister today.
Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi’s cabinet also nominated five other candidates for positions. All were accepted except Prime Minister Abadi’s choice for trade minister. He announced his intention to restructure the cabinet to combat corruption earlier this year. In April, Luaibi was included on a list of potential ministerial candidates that were blocked by parliament.
In May, demonstrations in support of the anti-graft reforms turned violent after his original attempt to reshuffle the cabinet.
As OPEC’s second-largest producer of oil after Saudi Arabia, Iraq produces around 4.6 million bopd, the largest share coming from the southern area overseen by South Oil Company.
In a speech following his inauguration, the new oil minister underlined the possibility of a solution between the Iraqi government and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. More than 450,000 bopd are currently exported from the territory.