Saudi Arabia has approved a restructuring of Saudi Aramco that includes separating it from the oil ministry, a Saudi-owned TV station reported, in a decision analysts said aims to make the state oil giant more transparent and keep it away from political sway.
There were no indications that the restructuring, which Al Arabiya reported on Friday citing sources, will lead to fundamental changes in how the world’s top crude exporter decides its energy policy.
Aramco officials could not be immediately reached for comment but Arabiya’s reports closely reflect official thinking.
On Wednesday King Salman appointed Saudi Aramco’s chief executive Khalid al-Falih as chairman of the state firm. Falih also becomes health minister under a major reshuffle in the leading OPEC state.
The restructuring of Aramco has also stacked the odds in Abdulaziz’s favour as a possible successor for Naimi, some Saudi sources say.
“They are trying to rearrange Aramco and restructure the whole company. They are also trying to restructure the oil ministry and name Prince Abdulaziz as minister of energy,” said an industry source in Saudi Arabia. “So that way, Aramco will be totally business oriented not an arm of the petroleum ministry.”