Iraq has named a new deputy oil minister, replacing an oil official who had been in the job since after the US-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi oil officials in Baghdad said Tuesday.
In a ministry decree, Fayadh Hassan Niama was named to replace Ahmed Al Shammaa, because the latter had reached retirement age.
Mr Shammaa was the deputy oil minister for downstream, and also used to oversee the Basra Gas Company project, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi and the state-run South Gas Company.
The decree also named Sameer Salman Al Taei as the new head of the state-run North Oil Company that oversees oil fields in northern Iraq. Mr Taei, who used to be head of the oil fields department in the NOC, replaces Hamid Al Saedi, who has been director general since 2010.
The NOC is headquartered in the oil-hub city of Kirkuk, which is at the center of a claim dispute between Iraq's central government in Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north.
Kirkuk, some 250 kilometers north of Baghdad, is the heart of northern Iraq's oil industry and has a mixed population of Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen. North Oil's productive fields include the supergiant Kirkuk.
Iraq, which sits on the world's third-largest crude oil reserves, is looking to increase its oil production from around 3.3 million barrels a day to 3.7 million barrels a day by the end of 2013.