The local hydrocarbons sector has broadly welcomed the appointment of former finance minister Bader al-Humaidhi as the new oil minister, despite continued criticism of him in parliament.

‘Unlike his two predecessors, Al-Humaidhi has a proven track record of being able to deliver, and brings with him a good reputation from the finance ministry,’ says one Kuwait-based oil executive. ‘An added bonus is that he is already familiar with the oil sector due to his membership of the Supreme Petroleum Council [SPC] during his time as finance minister.’

Al-Humaidhi, who had been finance minister since 2005, took up the vacant oil portfolio after a cabinet reshuffle in late October. The post had been vacant since the resignation of Sheikh Ali al-Jarrah al-Sabah earlier this year (MEED 6:7:07).

However, several National Assembly (parliament) members were less than impressed by Al-Humaidhi’s appointment. The cabinet reshuffle was partly caused by parliament submitting a request to question Al-Humaidhi for ‘financial irregularities’ (MEED 26:10:07).

They argue that the government acted against the spirit of the constitution by moving Al-Humaidhi and have threatened to continue proceedings against the minister.

Separately, a special investigative tribunal says it will not press corruption charges against former oil minister Sheikh Ali al-Khalifa al-Sabah. The court says it does not have enough evidence to take the case to a special court for ministers.