Iraqi Oil Minister Reshuffles Senior Officials


BAGHDAD, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Iraq's Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi is reshuffling senior officials in a bid to revitalize a ministry that wants to improve the OPEC nation's ability to boost oil production, an Iraqi oil official said.

Deputy minister of upstream operations, Fayadh al-Nema, will become deputy minister for refining operations, replacing Dhiaa al-Mousawi who is being made an adviser at the ministry.

A new director for upstream operations has yet to be appointed, said the official, declining to be named.

The oil ministry declined to confirm or deny the changes.

Luaibi, who became oil minister earlier this year, served from 2003 to 2008 as director general of South Oil Company which produces most of the nation's oil.

Soon after his appointment, he called on the companies operating in Iraq to increase their production capacity. He also resisted calls from other OPEC nations for Iraq to cut output.

Luaibi considers that Iraq should be allowed to increase output to make up for income lost in the past 35 years of wars and sanctions.

The oil official said the reshuffle was meant to, "pump fresh blood into the ministry and put an end to administrative stagnation".

(Reporting by Saif Hameed; editing by David Clarke)


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