Iraq Oil Ministry fires South Oil Company chief
It is believed Fayad al-Nema was axed for criticising oil auctions
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Fayad al-Nema, who ran the state-owned South Oil Company in Iraq has been removed from his position by the country’s Oil Ministry.
Spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh, told Reuters that Nema was removed from his position due to “restructuring” within Iraq’s Oil Ministry.
However, it is widely believed that Nema was fired for publicly criticising the recent auction for development contracts of the country’s oilfields.
"We in the South Oil Company, all of its leadership, reject the first bidding round [for oil service contracts] because it is against the interests of Iraq’s oil industry", Nema is quoted as saying at the time.
"[The contracts] will put the Iraqi economy in chains and shackle its independence for the next 20 years," he added.
Iraq’s Oil Minister, Hussain Shahristani, came under fire at the time of the auction from both within the industry and from the country’s parliament. However, Shahristani’s hard-line stance with foreign oil companies won him many admirers and has strengthened his position.
Only one contract was awarded at the oil auctions, the super giant Rumaila field went to a BP-led consortium.