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Iraq’s Oil Minister reshuffles upstream, gas posts in ministry

Iraqi oil minister Thamer Al-Ghadban. (File/AFP)
Several months after promising reform at his ministry, Iraq Oil Minister Thamer Al-Ghadhban reshuffled several key deputies.

Fayadh Nema was named deputy minister for upstream affairs. He had previously been deputy minister for refining operations. That position will now be occupied by Hamed Younis Saleh, formerly the deputy minister of gas affairs.

Mutasim Akram was also named the new deputy minister of gas affairs. He was previously deputy minister for distribution affairs and will be replaced in that post by Karim Hattab Jafar.

Ghadhban, who was nominated by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and confirmed by a parliamentary vote in October 2018, replaced Jabar Al-Luaibi as minister. Luaibi has since become the head of the new National Oil Company.

Ghadhban helped resuscitate a flagging oil industry after the US-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. He was interim oil minister from 2004-5 and a former energy adviser to former premier Haider Al-Abadi.

Days after being confirmed in a parliamentary vote last October, he said he would look at ways to reform the oil ministry. Friday’s move appeared to be the first such attempt.
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