S. Arabia Ousts Longtime Oil Minister

S. Arabia Ousts Longtime Oil MinisterS. Arabia Ousts Longtime Oil Minister

Longstanding Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi, the architect of the 2014 switch in OPEC policy that has since roiled crude markets, was replaced with Khalid Al-Falih, chairman of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, according to the nation’s official news agency.

Al-Falih, who was excused from his post as health minister, will head the Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Wealth, Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a royal decree, Bloomberg reported.

Naimi, 80, had held the post since 1995 and was one of OPEC’s longest-serving and most influential ministers. Al-Falih, born in 1959, was running Saudi Aramco, as the world’s largest petroleum company is known.

The changes announced on Saturday come as the government plans wide reforms aimed at overhauling the Saudi economy amid lower oil prices that have eroded state revenues.