Saudi Arabia Energy minister
The newly appointed Saudi energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman (left), meets with his father King Salman, in a handout picture provided by the Saudi Press Agency. Image credit: Saudi Press Agency via AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has replaced the country’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, with one of his sons.

The news coincides with the largest energy industry congress in the region. Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, an older half-brother to the crown prince, is no stranger to Saudi Arabia’s most profitable energy source to-date – oil – having spent over three decades in the industry, and served until recently as the minister of state for energy affairs.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was recently minister of state for energy affairs.

Oil prices rose slightly on Monday after Prince Abdulaziz was named energy minister.

The Prince has previously made clear his intentions to end what he calls the state’s " dangerous addiction to oil." 

He would now have to do what he can to raise oil prices, which have hovered at the $60 per barrel mark in recent weeks.

Increased oil prices would bolster the value of state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, and sales in shares would help fund his vision for the kingdom and its economy.

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Khalid al-Falih, congratulated the prince on his new appointment on Twitter yesterday, “wishing him all the best in leading this important sector”.

The Prince is a long-standing delegate for Saudi Arabia to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The state-run Saudi Press Agency said the prince stressed the importance of energy within the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative, and Saudi Arabia’s commitment to work alongside other oil-producing nations, “to stabilise and balance the global oil markets”.