Iraqi lawmakers approved the appointment of Ihsan Abdul Jabbar as oil minister,to succeed industry veteran Thamir Ghadhban, according to the parliamentary media office.
Parliament voted on Saturday to appoint Jabbar, the acting director general of state-run Basra Oil Co., along with six other officials to the cabinet of new Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. The previous cabinet resigned in December after nationwide protests over jobs and the government’s performance. Ali Allawi had been serving as acting oil minister.
Jabbar earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1995. Before taking the helm at Basra Oil in 2017, he worked as a rotating operating engineer for the company and oversaw various departments at South Gas Co. Both state-run companies are based in the south, where Iraq produces most of its oil.
Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has struggled with low oil prices, reduced production quotas and disruptions due to the coronavirus. The World Bank sees the nation’s economy shrinking by 10% this year.
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Ghadhbanserved three different times as Iraq’s oil minister. During his latest term, starting in November 2018, he was also deputy prime minister for energy. As a member of parliament, he helped draft a law for oil and gas investment, though it has yet to be approved.
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