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Thursday, 22 June 2017

New Saudi crown prince to maintain oil policy | The National

New Saudi crown prince to maintain oil policy | The National:

"A new crown prince ascends as oil prices slump. The appointment of the 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman as next in line to the throne of Saudi Arabia can set the direction of Saudi policy – and its massive energy sector – for decades to come. With the kingdom facing an unprecedented confluence of economic and regional political threats, the pace of reform cannot slip. The prince’s rise should not bring any sharp changes in the kingdom’s energy policy – on the contrary, it consolidates approaches that were already clear, under energy viceroy and close confidant Khalid Al Falih. The kingdom’s emerging energy strategy has three pillars. Firstly, with most consequence for other oil producers, the country’s Opec policy and cooperation with non-Opec producers. When Mohammed bin Salman became the deputy crown prince in April 2015, the oil price slump was well under way, and Ali Al Naimi, the oil minister at the time, was encouraging high production to reclaim market share. Just a year later, at the infamous Doha meeting, the prince intervened to prevent an Opec agreement unless Iran agreed to limit its production."

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