Same old: New Saudi oil minister to maintain current policies

Published May 9th, 2016 - 07:00 GMT
Khalid Al-Falih had a 25 year career with Saudi Aramco, including six years as its CEO.  (AFP/Fayez Nureldine)
Khalid Al-Falih had a 25 year career with Saudi Aramco, including six years as its CEO. (AFP/Fayez Nureldine)

Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister on Sunday pledged to maintain the Kingdom’s oil policy, after being named in a major government overhaul.

“Saudi Arabia will maintain its stable petroleum policies,” Khalid Al-Falih said in a statement.

“We remain committed to maintaining our role in international energy markets and strengthening our position as the world’s most reliable supplier of energy,” said Falih who now heads an expanded energy, industry and mineral resources ministry.

Falih was appointed as part of a government shakeup that saw several ministries merged in what analysts said reflected the government’s determination to diversify the economy under its wide-ranging Vision 2030 plan announced last month.

Falih said the new ministry was created “in line with the ambitious objectives” of the Vision which has pledged “transparency and accountability.”

The new approach “will help the Kingdom to better meet domestic and international energy demand,” while integrating and diversifying energy and other resources, he said.

Falih takes the job in a much better market environment compared to January — oil prices have indeed recovered from their January lows of $27 per barrel to trade at around $45 last week on the prospect that the market has began to rebalance thanks to lower US output.

Born in 1960, Falih joined Aramco in 1979, and went to study engineering at Texas A&M University in 1982 on an Aramco sponsorship program.


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