New Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih was longtime Saudi Aramco chief

Khalid Al-Falih, new energy minister
Updated 07 May 2016
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New Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih was longtime Saudi Aramco chief

RIYADH: Khalid Al-Falih, named byon Saturday to head a super Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, was the longtime chief of state oil giant Saudi Aramco.
From 2009, he was Saudi Aramco’s president and CEO, in charge of about 60,000 employees at the firm which produces roughly one in every eight barrels of the world’s oil supply.
In May last year, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman tapped Al-Falih to become health minister as part of an earlier government shuffle, but he also stayed on with Aramco as chairman during a dramatic global decline in oil prices which left Saudi Arabia with a record budget deficit last year.
The plunging oil revenues have accentuated a drive for economic alternatives in the world’s biggest oil exporter, which on April 25 released a wide-ranging “Vision 2030” plan aimed at transforming the economy away from its dependence on crude.
The government reorganization announced on Saturday by King Salman reflects these new priorities which include greater efficiency in state administration.
Al-Falih will head the broader Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources as the kingdom tries to boost industry — from petrochemicals to defense — and alternative energy sources while mining is expected to take on a greater role in the economy.
Al-Falih replaces Ali Al-Naimi who headed the now defunct Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and who will become an adviser to the Royal Court.
There was no immediate word on a replacement for Al-Falih as chairman of Aramco, which is to be partly listed on the stock market as a foundation of the Vision 2030 plan.
According to an official biography, Al-Falih, earned in 1982 a mechanical engineering degree from Texas A&M University in the United States.
In 1991, he graduated with an MBA from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in his homeland.
Prior to assuming the presidency of Saudi Aramco, from 2007 he was its executive vice president of operations.


Saudi Aramco boss reveals gas and LNG ambitions amid petchems push

Updated 59 min 40 sec ago
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Saudi Aramco boss reveals gas and LNG ambitions amid petchems push

  • Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser: We are in discussions in different countries with a lot of partners. We are reviewing these opportunities to make final decisions in terms of investment
  • Amin Nasser: A lot of it is in partnerships with leading companies around the world and it is either in gas investment, LNG investment or both

London: Saudi Aramco is eyeing gas and LNG acquisitions as it also prepares for the potential purchase of the Kingdom’s biggest chemical maker, CEO Amin Nasser revealed on Tuesday.

He made the disclosure in an interview with Bloomberg TV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“We are in discussions in different countries currently with a lot of partners. We are reviewing these opportunities to make final decisions in terms of investment,” Nasser said.

“A lot of it is in partnerships with leading companies around the world and it is either in gas investment, LNG investment or both.”

Aramco has also been in discussions with a credit rating agency ahead of a planned bond sale.

It comes ahead of the potential purchase of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), the Kingdom’s biggest chemical maker and a key part of Aramco’s ambitions to grow its global petrochemicals business.

“We will decide soon how much we would like to take from the bond market. Definitely it is going to be an international bond. We are currently in discussion with regard to how much and where,” Nasser said.

He said that the purchase price for SABIC was still under discussion.

“We are in discussion currently with the Public Investment Fund about acquisition of 70 percent of the share of SABIC. We are in discussion with regard to the price at this stage,” he said.

Earlier this month Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Aramco would issue bonds in the second quarter of 2019.

Aramco’s planned acquisition of SABIC is expected to involve buying all or nearly all of the 70 percent stake in the chemicals company held by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Kingdom’s principal sovereign wealth fund.

Nasser said that there was no plan to acquire the 30 percent of the company that is currently publicly traded in Saudi Arabia.