More than a change

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENT - Men of few words are the best men.


change of guard at the top of Saudi Ara­bia’s oil mi­nis try will set off more than a rip­ple or two in the global com­mod­ity mar­kets. In one stroke, it sets the stage for the de­par­ture of Ali Al Nuaimi, who va­cated the scene in favour of Khalid Al Falih, the Saudi Aramco chief, could po­ten­tially sig­nal a ma­jor change in the king­dom’s oil pol­icy and, in par­tic­u­lar, how it views cap­ping of global pro­duc­tion ca­pac­i­ties in the cur­rent weak-pric­ing regime. Al Falih has enough of the net­work­ing skills honed through the years to di­rect a more pre­cise pol­icy re­gard­ing oil, and, just as im­por­tant, take along the ma­jor­ity view­point with him.

Even if the king­dom de­cides to con­tinue with its stated pol­icy on Opec pro­duc­tion quo­tas, Al Falih looks the best man to ar­tic­u­late that per­spec­tive. He will try and bring on a more mea­sured tone in the many di­a­logues that are tak­ing place among oil-pro­duc­ing na­tions and at var­i­ous lev­els. And his ex­pe­ri­ence as Saudi Aramco chief, a po­si­tion he will re­tain, gives him the added grav­i­tas in mak­ing those ne­go­ti­a­tions count. How oil prices fare in the com­ing days and weeks will give an in­di­ca­tion of how the mar­kets take to his el­e­va­tion. But they will re­act some­how. — Gulf News

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