King Salman appoints new energy secretary, ambassador to Bahrain

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the newly appointed energy minister of Saudi Arabia.

:: King Salman on Sunday issued a royal decree appointing Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman as energy minister.

Prince Abdulaziz replaced Khalid Al-Falih, who was removed from the post that he held since May 2016.

Another decree named Prince Sultan bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud ambassador to Bahrain.

In a third decree, King Salman appointed Osama bin Abdulaziz Al-Zamil as deputy minister of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, replacing Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Ali Al-Abdulkarim, who was removed from his post by the same decree.

Falih’s relief from the key post follows his removal last week as chairman of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, a position he held since 2015.

He was replaced as Saudi Aramco chairman by Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, who has been the governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) since 2017.

At the end of August, a royal decree split the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources — then headed by Al-Falih — into the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.

Named to head the new ministry was prominent businessman Bandar Al-Khorayef, while Al-Falih remained as energy secretary.

In a tweet, Al-Falih thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “for granting me the opportunity to serve our dear homeland” and wished his successor “all the best in leading this important sector.”

“I would like to thank all the colleagues, whom I was pleased to work with, for all the efforts installed to serve our generous country. I hope they achieve more excellence and success,” said Al-Falih, who was tapped by the king to head the energy ministry in May 2016 in a concurrent capacity as chairman of Saudi Aramco.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the new energy minister has a lifetime of experience in energy. In his 20s he became an adviser to the energy minister in 1985 before being named deputy oil minister in 1995, a position he held for nearly a decade.

He then served as assistant oil minister until 2017, when he was named a minister of state for energy affairs. He holds degrees from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

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