King Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Saturday, sacked his oil minister Ali al-Naimi as part of a major cabinet reshuffle.
Naimi was replaced by former health minister Khaled al-Faleh in the overhaul announced on Saturday in a series of royal decrees issued by King Salman.
The Saudi monarch replaced the ministers in charge of the energy, oil, water, transport, commerce, social affairs, health and pilgrimage portfolios.
The Saudi State television announced that the oil ministry would now be known as the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mining.
79 years old Naimi until his sack, was the world’s most powerful oilman. As Saudi oil minister and chairman of Saudi Aramco, the biggest oil company and oil exporter, he was known to wield enormous powers across the world of oil and is also listed as the 50th most powerful person in the world according to Forbes. He has been Minister since August 1995.
Al Naimi, is revered in international circles especially when it comes to opining on where the price of oil should be or how much volumes OPEC members should be selling. Recently, the was quoted as saying that he expects OPEC countries to maintain their stock piles thus ensuring oil prices continue to trend upwards whilst pushing back shale producers in the US.