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Fri 20 Nov 2015 10:04 AM

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Kuwait likely to name new oil minister in reshuffle - sources

Oil minister Ali al-Omair has tried recently to introduce changes to management of state oil firms but was blocked

Kuwait likely to name new oil minister in reshuffle - sources
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair. (AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait is likely to name a new oil minister soon in a limited energy reshuffle of the Gulf OPEC member, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Four sources told Reuters that current oil minister Ali al-Omair, who has been facing opposition from within the oil sector, was likely to change but no official decision had yet been taken.

One source said that a new acting oil minister was expected to be named early next week.

Another source said some changes to the board of the state run oil companies might also happen.

A third source said that the current finance minister might be named acting oil minister for a while, but added that nothing was clear until a decree was signed.

Omair did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

Omair has tried recently to introduce some changes to the management of state oil companies but was blocked.

Earlier in November, Omair said there was a decision to swap position between the heads of state-owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC). Kuwaiti media later reported that the boards of both companies resisted the decision arguing it was not within Omair's authority to make such changes.

A reshuffle in the oil ministry will not mean a change in oil policy of the OPEC member, and needs the final approval of Kuwait's ruler Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah.

Kuwait's oil policy is set by the country's Supreme Petroleum Council.

OPEC members meet next on Dec. 4 to decide on their output policy.