The family has entrusted the oil son
Material posted: Pankratenko Igor N.Publication date: 12-09-2019
As reported earlier, the king of Saudi Arabia Salman al Saud has appointed his son, Abdul Aziz bin Salman, the Minister of energy. First this post is a member of the Royal family. He will be the main protagonist and visionary of the reduction of oil production on 12 September at the meeting of the monitoring Committee of the OPEC in Abu Dhabi.

The predecessor of the new "chief superintendent of" all the oil of the Kingdom, Khaled al-falih two weeks ago was the third influence in Riyadh. But that is a feature of monarchy - suddenly you can lose just as high would not be your post. Has lost the confidence of the first persons of the dynasty - all free, though not great were your merits. 30 August, al-falih was removed from the post of Minister, 2 September lost his post of the Chairman of Saudi Aramco, this "pearl of the Kingdom", and on September 8 his office was possessed by the new owner.

With the 60-ies of the last century, since the establishment of the Ministry of energy, the Royal house of Saud princes on this post were not appointed. Too many opportunities have opened this chair for its owner, too strong would be the temptation of a little "touch up" balance of checks and balances in the dynasty. So I try not to risk and be put in the position of technocrats "from outside", which has no chance to break the usual order of succession.

But - mandatory to put a "controllers" of the ruling house, of course, too much of the Kingdom - from the economy to geopolitics - was tied to this magic word "oil". Abdulaziz, the fourth son of king Salman and brother "the little Prince" Mohammed - just a "controller". 22 years, from 1995 to 2017, was Deputy, and then assistant to the Ministers of petroleum and mineral resources. From 2017, state Minister for energy, who controlled the production and sale of all Saudi oil, and now chief superintendent of the entire power industry of the country.

"No one in the Kingdom knows more about oil than the Prince Abdul Aziz", - speak about it well-informed and influential sources known personally and worked with the new energy Minister Riyadh. - "A strong personality, a tough negotiator, decisive in making and carrying out decisions. He was the man who really, for many years formed the oil policy of the Saudis, along with OPEC policy".

It is noteworthy that Abdul Aziz was not originally part of the team "the little Prince", developed grandiose Saudi Vision-2030, a project of the indigenous and large-scale reform of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And personal relations of the two princes were not distinguished by special warmth, which gave rise in recent years, a lot of rumors about the presence of Abdul Aziz the serious problems with his position in the ruling house of Saud. But gathered around the Mohammed bin Salman young reformers saw and explained to his patron, that without specialist of this level - anywhere. In any case, the solution of two fundamental for the Kingdom's issues.

Or rather, one, but consisting of two parts. The increase in oil prices to such a level that with the maximum benefit to IPO, public offering of shares on the financial markets, "the pearl of the Kingdom" - oil giant Saudi Aramko. And the "maximum benefit" in Riyadh believe the following indicators - the company's capitalization to about two trillion dollars and the opportunity to receive from the sale of five percent of its shares for 100 billion of desperately needed today for the implementation of the Saudi Vision 2030 in the areas related to defence and military industry.

Ideally, in the Kingdom consider it desirable for themselves prices around $90 per barrel. Then it would be possible for the IPO to go, since this question extends to 2016, and level of public spending and the cost of the reform to maintain the proper level. But in the current circumstances, to expect $ 90 per barrel rolls for a long period of time it is not necessary. Therefore, Abdel Aziz needed a short-term jump, or at least the positive dynamics of growth of prices. Hopefully in the near future, as the Alliance OPEC+, in which the main roles are distributed between Riyadh and Moscow, exhausts itself.

No, he continues to operate, and Saudi Arabia, and Russia is eager to extend it, which is, apparently, agreed on September 12 at the meeting of the monitoring Committee in Abu Dhabi. In any case, a telephone conversation, which on this occasion took place on 8 September Abdul Aziz with the Russian Minister Alexander Novak, was more than successful. Besides, as it became known just a few hours ago, Iraq and Oman ratified a perpetual Charter of OPEC+. But the reduction of the production process is double-edged. Short-term this contributes to higher prices, but the price for this "success" - reducing the share of OPEC in the world crude oil market. As it has already happened in reality - from 35% in 2012 to 30% in July 2019.

In short, from Abdul Aziz bin Salman al Saud in Riyadh is awaiting determination, speed and stress, most of those qualities which, coupled with a deep knowledge of the industry and made him one of the most important people in the global oil market. Will he be able to implement strategically important two-fold task of the Kingdom - it will be clear in the near future.

And by the way, after the inauguration of the "oil Prince" made a very significant and intriguing statement. About the plans of the Kingdom's uranium enrichment for its future civil nuclear power programme. In fact, his words indicate the readiness of Riyadh to open a brand new, nuclear page the history of the Persian Gulf and the entire Middle East. But that's another story - next time.

Igor Pankratenko


Tags: assessment , oil , Saudi Arabia