US appoints new Iraqi oil minister
The US-led association overseeing Iraq’s reconstruction has appointed former Director of planning at Iraq’s oil ministry, Thamir Ghadhban as new head of the department. Former head of Royal Dutch/Shell Phillip Carroll will head an advisory board to the ministry, revealed US spokesman John Kincannon.
According to an Iraqi oil ministry official, Ghadhban's position will be temporary until a future interim government formally selects a minister. Educated in the UK, Ghadhban played a major role in Iraq's Southern Oil Company and was a top adviser to the former Iraqi oil minister.
In a bid to salvage Iraq's vast oil reserves and prevent a colossal environmental disaster during its military campaign against the nation, the Bush administration devised a high-priority strategic plan to rapidly seize control of the oil fields. Iraq has the second largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia.
A US Treasury Department task force is working to address financial and economic aspects of Iraq's reconstruction, including restoring operations of the Finance Ministry, the Central Bank, commercial banks and the stock market.
The US relief and reconstruction effort for Iraq will be the largest American aid project since the nation's Marshall Plan for Western Europe after World War II. The estimated US reconstruction package for Iraq is $1.9 billion. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)