Crude prices have slightly increased in the first day of trading after Saudi Arabia appointed a new Energy Minister, the Financial Times reports.
On Sunday 8th September Prince Abdulaziz, the son of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, was named the country’s new Minister for Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources. He will replace Khalid Al-Falih, who assumed the role in 2016 having previously served as CEO of Saudi Aramco, the state-backed oil and gas company.
The appointment of Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, half-brother to ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, marks the first time a royal family member has been put in charge of the energy ministry, concentrating the kingdom’s control of oil policy-making directly in the hands of the royal family.
Brent crude - the international oil marker - gained 1.1% to $62.20 and West Texas Intermediate - the US benchmark - added 1.3% to trade at $57.20.
One of Prince Abdulaziz’s top priorities will be to boost prices to a level that can sustain government spending - a price around $25 a barrel higher than it is now. He will also have to contend with the upcoming international IPO of Saudi Aramco, set to be the biggest on record.
Saudi has cut oil production to below 10m barrels per day as part of a deal with OPEC and its allies intended to stabilise falling oil prices.
Prince Abdulaziz is set to make his first public appearance this week in Abu Dhabi at the World Energy Congress.