Iraq’s Oil Ministry has appointed Fayadh Hasan Nama as new Deputy Minister for the downstream. If Mr Nama’s brief is the same as his predecessor, veteran executive Ahmad al-Shama’, in addition to launching a planned $30bn refinery drive, the job will include management of the new $17.2bn Shell-led Basra Gas Company (BGC) venture.

Baghdad also made changes at the top of state-owned North Oil Company (NOC), which operates around 570,000 b/d in northern federal areas of Iraq. But the post of Deputy Minister for the upstream, vacated when Iraqi Oil Minister, ‘Abd al-Karim Laibi, was promoted in December 2010, remains empty. And it is in the upstream where Iraq’s hydrocarbon sector faces its stiffest challenges. (CONTINUED - 1616 WORDS)