Hussein al-Shahristani

Position: Oil minister

Biography: A former nuclear scientist and one-time prisoner of the notorious Abu Ghraib jail, Hussein al-Shahristani was appointed oil minister in May 2006. A member of the United Iraqi Alliance parliamentary bloc, he was handpicked by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to take over the government’s most important department on account of his reputation for probity.

His first action was to attempt to put an end to racketeering and corruption within the ministry and its engineering division. He is engaged in a protracted row with the Kurdistan Regional Government over the latter’s signing of production-sharing agreements with foreign oil companies.

Al-Shahristani has overseen Iraq’s ambitious project to draw in international oil companies (IOCs) via short-term technical support contracts, but has grown impatient with the oil majors over their reluctance to proceed quickly.

Contact: (+9641) 727 0710