King Salman appoints Prince Abdulaziz as energy minister of Saudi Arabia

King Salman appoints Prince Abdulaziz as energy minister of Saudi Arabia
Published: 8 September 2019 - 3 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
King Salman of Saudi Arabia has replaced the kingdom’s energy minister with one of his sons – Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the new energy minister of the country, Saudi Press Agency reported. Prince Abdulaziz has replaced Khalid Al Falih.

An experienced oil industry figure, Prince Abdulaziz was appointed as deputy oil minister of the kingdom in 1995, a position in which he continued for nearly a decade. Prince Abdulaziz was then appointed as assistant oil minister until 2017, when he was named minister of state for energy affairs. He has been a member of the kingdom’s delegation to OPEC for a long period.

This is the first time a member of the ruling Al Saud family becoming the energy minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Ali Al-Abdulkarim, deputy minister of energy, industry and mineral resources for industry affairs, is also relieved of his post, according to the report by Saudi Press Agency. Osama bin Abdulaziz Al-Zamil is appointed deputy minister of industry and mineral resources, as per the report.

As reported earlier, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia formed a new ministry of industry and mineral resources, after splitting it from the energy ministry in a chain of royal orders issued on 30 August.

Bandar Alkhorayef was named to head the new ministry, which will become an independent entity on 1 January 2020. Khalid Al Falih remained as the minister of energy of the kingdom and chairman of Saudi Aramco. Alkhorayef is an investor and private sector based industrialist.

Industry and mining are crucial elements of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's drive to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from crude oil, reduce state expenditure and create jobs for millions of young Saudis.

As reported on 3 September, Yasir Al Rumayyan was appointed as chairman of Saudi Aramco. Al Rumayyan is the governor of the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund. He replaced energy minister Khalid Al Falih. Al Falih remained as the minister of energy of the kingdom.

Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, manages approximately $320bn in assets on behalf of the kingdom.

The kingdom is gearing up to list 5% of Aramco, which could take place either next year, or in 2021. According to recent reports, in order to avert potential legal and political complications from a listing in New York, London, or Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia is considering Tokyo for the listing.

In March this year, Saudi Aramco signed a share purchase agreement to acquire a 70% majority stake in SABIC from the Public Investment Fund, in a private transaction for $69.1bn.

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