Iran has said it will merge its oil and energy ministries in efforts to streamline the administration of its hydrocarbons.

“According to what the cabinet approved today, the oil and energy ministries and labour and social welfare ministries will be merged,” says the country’s vice-president Lotfollah Foruzandeh.

The merger is part of a wider government plan to reduce the number of ministries to 17 from the existing 21 to create a more streamlined, efficient administration.

It is not yet clear who will preside over the two merged ministries. Any choice the government suggests will have to be approved by parliament, which has already disagreed with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad several times this year.

In February, parliament impeached and gave a vote of no confidence to Hamid Behbahani, the transport minister who had been chosen by Ahmadinejad.

Then in April, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected the resignation of Intelligence Minister Heider Moslehi, who had been forced to sign by Ahmadinejad (MEED 18:4:11).