On Sunday, Saudi Arabia announced that Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud would take on the role as Minister of Energy, replacing Khalid al-Falih. The appointment was announced by the Kingdom’s state news agency, SPA, citing a royal decree.
Prince Abdulaziz has extensive history with the oil industry and has spent more than three decades working in the Kingdom’s oil ministry. In 1995 he was announced as the Kingdom’s deputy oil minister, and since 2017 he has worked as the Minister of State for Energy Affairs.
The announcement comes days after news that al-Falih would also be replaced as chairman of energy giant Aramco, a position he held since 2015, with Public Investment Fund chief Yasir al-Rumayyan taking upon the role.
The appointment of al-Rumayyan was likely a move to prepare the oil giant for its IPO by establishing Aramco and the Ministry of Energy as two discrete entities.
On Twitter, al-Falih congratulated Prince Abdulaziz on his appointment, wishing him “all the best and success in leading this important sector.” He added that his position had been a “great honor” and thanked those that he had worked with.
At the end of August, it was also announced that the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, then led by al-Falih, would be split into two bodies. Bandar Alkhorayef, a private sector investor and executive was named the chief of the new Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources. The new ministry will become fully independent from January 1, 2020.
In another decree, Prince Sultan bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz al-Saud was appointed as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Engineer Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Ali al-Abdulkarim, Deputy Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources for Industry Affairs, was relieved from his post and Engineer Osama bin Abdulaziz al-Zamil appointed Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, according to the third decree.