Iraq's cabinet has authorized the Oil Ministry to establish three new public companies, according to a statement from the cabinet. The new companies will be in oil services; crude oil transportation pipelines; and gas transportation pipelines, with capital of 100 billion Iraqi dinars ($84 million), IQD300 billion and IQD200 billion respectively, said the statement.
The ministry already operates several other companies, including the South Oil Co., North Oil Co., Missan Oil Co. and Midland Oil Co. as well as two gas companies that oversee crude oil and gas production.
Iraq, a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, also plans to re-establish the Iraqi national oil company, or INOC, which was merged with the Ministry of Oil in 1987. The country's cabinet has been trying to gain parliamentary approval for the plan since 2009 but has met resistance due to a bitter dispute between the assembly's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions over a broader oil and gas law and the distribution of Iraq's oil wealth.
Iraq, the second largest oil producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia, produces some 3.2 million barrels a day and plans to raise output to 3.5 million by the end of 2013. Its 2014 target is 4.5 million barrels a day.
Dow Jones Newswires