Iraqi Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum has been temporarily released from his post amid a dispute over the government's petrol pricing policy.
He is to be replaced for 30 days by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi
Mr Bahr al-Uloum had publicly objected to the Iraqi government's decision this month to raise petrol prices threefold.
Fears of severe shortages, prompted by the closure of Iraq's largest oil refinery, have led to long queues at petrol stations in Baghdad.
The refinery in the northern town of Baiji has been shut since last week following death threats to tanker drivers.
A ministry spokesman told reporters that "production in the north, centre and south is about to suffocate".
So where is the good news in this you ask? Well it's good news for Ahmed, just before the Holiday the news reported, "Unexpectedly low support from overseas voters has left Ahmed Chalabi -- the returned Iraqi exile once backed by the United States to lead Iraq -- facing a shutout from power in this month's vote for the country's first full-term parliament since the 2003 invasion." It would be a shame if one of the Bush Administrations enablers in this War didn't reap some of the profits. Ministry of Oil. Now that's a good gig.