DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has named Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, a son of the king, as power minister, changing Khalid al-Falih, state information company SPA reported on Sunday, citing a royal decree.
The appointment represents the primary time a member of the ruling Al Saud household has held the power minister submit on the planet’s prime oil exporter.
Prince Abdulaziz is a longstanding member of the No. 1 crude exporter’s delegation to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Nations (OPEC) with many years of expertise within the oil sector.
In 2017, he was named Minister of State for Power Affairs, and has labored carefully with earlier oil minister Ali al-Naimi as his deputy for years.
Some trade insiders say the prince’s prolonged expertise has overcome what has all the time been seen because the impossibility of appointing a royal to the submit of power minister in Saudi Arabia.
Standard pondering has been that the ruling Al Saud household has considered the oil portfolio as so vital that giving it to a prince may upset the dynasty’s delicate steadiness of energy and danger making oil coverage hostage to princely politicking, Saudi sources and diplomats say.
Saudi Arabia has had 5 oil ministers since 1960, and none of them has been a royal.
Final month, Saudi Arabia created a ministry for trade and mineral sources, separating it from the dominion’s colossal power ministry.
Earlier than the separation choice, Falih had overseen greater than half the Saudi economic system by the super-ministry, which was created in 2016 to assist streamline new reforms.
Final week, Falih was additionally faraway from his submit as chairman of state oil big Aramco, and Yasser al-Rumayyan, who heads the sovereign wealth fund PIF, was named as the brand new chairman.
Reporting by Rania El Gamal in Dubai and Samar Ahmed in Cairo; modifying by Cynthia Osterman and Chris Reese