Iraq Minister of Oil, Jabar al-Luaibi, has reversed his decision to transfer the ownership of nine state-owned oil companies from the ministry to the newly formed National Oil Company. The move comes two days after issuing the decree following opposition from Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate, Adil Abdul-Mahdi who will now be allowed to make his own decisions on plans within Iraq's oil sector.
Following his appointment, Abdul-Mahdi called on current Iraqi officials in the outgoing government cabinet to hold off on the signing of new deals and any other critical decisions.
The Iraqi government last week named Luaibi as head of the new National Oil Company, which is to serve as an umbrella organization for all nine state oil companies. The nine companies includes are SOMO, the Iraqi Oil Exploration Company, the Iraqi Drilling Company, the North Oil Company, the Midland Oil Company, Basra Oil Company, Dhi Qar Oil Company, Maysan Oil Company, and the Iraqi Oil Tankers Company.
The Iraqi Parliament voted to establish the new National Oil Company back in March, which is designed to manage the country's upstream operations, giving the ministry freedom to set plans and strategies to develop the sector.
In an Oil Ministry statement, Luaibi has also announced plans for the country to produce seven million barrels of oil per day (bpd) through the National Oil Company , with four million barrels per day to be exported in 2019. The Oil Minister also revealed that the ministry aims to export one million bpd through Jordan’s Aqaba port.