Saturday, October 20, 2018

PM Designate Mahdi Did Not Like Oil Minister’s Action On Iraq National Oil Company



Oil Minister Luabi (Reuters)
October 18 out going Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luabi transferred nine-state owned oil and service companies to the new National Oil Company (INOC) that he is heading. While this was part of the plan for the new oil business, the timing, a week before a new government is to be announced raised the ire of Prime Minister designate Adel Abdul Mahdi.

That same day Minister Luabi issued his order, Mahdi posted on Facebook that Prime Minister Haidar Abadi and President Barham Salah should stop any unconstitutional and illegal actions, appointments and contracts at the last minute. He said his new administration would cancel anything it found illegal. A senior official told Iraq Oil Report this was aimed at Luabi. Mahdi obviously did not like such a sweeping transfer of assets to happen just before he officially took office. That was especially true because the person that did it would have control of those businesses in his new position as INOC head.

Will the switch be reversed? That would seem unlikely as it was part of the plan for the new National company to take over oil operations. It could complicate the relationship between the two especially since Laubi is suppose to answer to the premier.

SOURCES

Iraq News Network, “Abdul Mahdi calls issuance of appointments unconstitutional,” 10/18/18

Kullab, Samya, Al-Aqily, Ali, “Luiebi issues INOC orders with uncertain powers,” Iraq Oil Report, 10/18/18

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