Falah al-Amri was removed as chief of Iraqi state oil marketer Somo this week in the latest reshuffling of the country’s oil sector. Mr Amri had been in charge of Somo for more than 10 years and was a highly influential figure. Whether this was the intention or not, his removal consolidates Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi’s powerbase in the sector.

The move came a week after former Basra Oil Company chief Hayan Abdulzahra and South Gas Company’s Ihsan Ismael swapped...