Hurani’s nomination comes amid preparations to announce a new unified cabinet that will bring together the region’s two separate governments, one in Arbil and the other in Sulaimaniya.
Barzani, who will head the new joint government, is expected to present his cabinet to the unified Kurdish parliament this week.
The creation of an oil ministry in the region has angered the central government which has so far stopped the Kurds short from spreading their full control over the oil-rich region of Kirkuk.
Oil Ministry officials refused to comment on the announcement, saying the appointed was “a political and not technical issue.”
However, they conceded the ministry had little say in oil affairs related to the region’s three provinces – Arbil, Sulaimaniya and Dahouk.
The largest portion of the country’s known oil reserves of 114 billion barrels lies in the south.
The only oil-rich area in the north is Kirkuk whose oil fields and installations are in the hands of the central government.
Oil Ministry experts doubt whether any substantial reserves of oil could be found in the three provinces currently under Kurdish control.
But the Kurds are said to have struck deals with international firms to explore for oil in their areas.
Unconfirmed reports say the companies have struck commercial reserves in Zakho, close to the Turkish border. (Source) Sherzad Abdulrahman, Azzaman