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Iraqi oil minister reverses state oil company ownership transfer

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Iraqi Oil Minister 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 ministry said on Saturday.

The move would enable the incoming government of Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi to make its own decisions in the oil sector, the ministry said in a statement. Luaibi is the oil minister in an outgoing government led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

A senior Iraqi oil official told Reuters that Mahdi had been annoyed by the original transfer decision which had been “made in a rush and without his approval.”