Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—As uncertainty continues over the future of global oil prices, analysts and policymakers across the world have turned their gaze to Saudi Arabia—the state with the world’s largest oil reserves—with more intensity than usual.
Saudi Arabia’s mew monarch, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, has sought to reassure both his own people and the world’s energy markets that stability and continuity will be the order of the day, leaving veteran oil minister Ali Al-Naimi in place in last week’s major reshuffle of the Saudi cabinet. However, he has also promoted his son Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz to be Naimi’s deputy after serving more than 25 years in the ministry of petroleum and mineral resources, most recently as assistant minister.
Though new to the cabinet, Prince Abdulaziz, 45, has spent most of his adult working life in the ministry, beginning his work there in 1987 as a consultant to the minister of petroleum. He was then appointed Assistant Undersecretary at the ministry in 1990 and then Deputy in 1995. He became an adviser to the minister of petroleum in 2004, becoming a regular attendee of OPEC meetings, occupying this post until Thursday last week, when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Petroleum by royal decree.
Prince Salman holds a Bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, graduating in 1982, followed by a Master’s in Business Administration from the same university in 1985. He then spent the next two years as head of the Economic and Industrial Studies Unit at the university before beginning his civil service career.
Prince Abdulaziz also brings a wide range of experience at a number of petroleum organizations. He is an honorary president at the Saudi Economic Association, and a member of the Saudi Geologists’ Association and the Committee for the Development of International Trade at the Council of Saudi Chambers. He also heads the National Committee for Clean Energy and a nationwide energy efficiency initiative launched by the Kingdom in 2012. Prince Abdulaziz is also a member of the board of directors at the Prince Fahd Bin Salman Charity for Renal Failure Patients.