According to a royal decree announced on May 7, 2016, Khaled al-Faleh, previously health minister, who takes the enlarged portfolio of energy, industry and mineral resources, has replaced Saudi Arabia’s long-serving oil minister Ali al-Naimi, as part of a major government overhaul. In sequence, Arabia’s new energy minister stated on Sunday that the world’s largest crude exporter was devoted to meeting its customers demand for hydrocarbons and would maintain its petroleum policies.
Khalid al-Falih said Saudi Arabia will sustain its firm petroleum policies and stated that they continue to be committed to maintaining their role in international energy markets and establishing their position as the world’s most prominent reliable supplier of energy.
The latter added, “We are committed to meeting existing and additional hydrocarbons demand from our expanding global customer base, backed by our current maximum sustainable capacity.”
Noting that Saudi Arabia has led OPEC, since 2014, through a new survival strategy that sought to defend market shares rather than to reduce the production, to support oil prices.
Analysts saw no shifts to take place, and with Falih’s comments on Sunday most of their views are affirmed as that no changes will take place in Saudi oil policy; coming as a result of his appointment. Worth mentioning that Falih’s appointment came as part of a bigger Saudi shake-up package revealed on Saturday as King Salman made some big changes and amendments including the restructuring of some big ministries in a major reshuffle intended to support a wide-ranging economic reform programmer.
Where the Petroleum Ministry has been renamed as the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources; as part of the restructuring process.
Falih added, “The creation of a new Ministry in Saudi Arabia that brings together the Kingdom’s abundant and unrivalled energy and mineral resources and industrial capabilities is in line with the ambitious objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.”