SAUDI POWER TREMOR
As the country grapples with weak oil prices, Saudi Arabia dismissed its long-serving oil minister Ali Al Naimi on May 7, marking the departure of one of the industry’s most powerful figures.
Al Naimi, who had been the Kingdom's oil minister since 1995, has been a strong voice against lowering Saudi Arabia's production when prices fall, a move away from its past tactics. He moved the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to keep pumping oil at a rapid clip despite a global supply glut, a decision that has weighed on crude oil markets and depressed prices.
He will be succeeded by Khalid Al Falih, chairman of state oil company Saudi Arabian Oil Co., better known as Saudi Aramco. It comes less than two weeks after Saudi Arabia unveiled an ambitious economic reform programme aimed at reducing the Kingdom's dependence on oil revenue.