Kuwait oil minister's resignation has been accepted

By Fiona MacDonald on 12/17/2018

KUWAIT (Bloomberg) -- Kuwaiti Oil Minister Bakheet Al-Rashidi’s resignation has been accepted, according to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the news hasn’t been officially announced. 

Al-Rashidi, who had been oil minister since last December, submitted his resignation earlier this month, after lawmakers stepped up pressure on the government for his dismissal amid allegations of mismanagement. He still carried out his duties after that and traveled to Vienna to participate in the meetings of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

A government spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Kuwait’s oil industry, which provides more than 90% of public revenue, has been caught up in political wrangling for about two decades, with 15 people serving as ministers over that period. A number of high-profile energy projects have been either delayed or canceled.

Al-Rashidi survived a no-confidence vote in May after being questioned in parliament over alleged mismanagement. A government-appointed committee formed to investigate the allegations has compiled a report, and MPs have since called for the resignations of Al-Rashidi and other senior officials. Lawmakers have said they plan to question the minister again.

Kuwait Petroleum issued a statement in October, responding to what was published about the committee’s report in local media. The company said the report contained “erroneous information based on incomplete information and lacks accuracy and professionalism.” It denied any squandering of public funds or providing misleading information on the progress of projects.

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