Connect with us

Business

Saudi oil prince Abdulaziz bin Salman thrives on ‘calculated unpredictability’

Published

on

Saudi oil prince Abdulaziz bin Salman thrives on ‘calculated unpredictability’

The kingdom’s mercurial energy minister has had to deal with a number of daunting challenges.

Article content

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman of Saudi Arabia spent most of his adult life as an energy minister on standby. But just six days after becoming the first royal to take on the role, the kingdom’s oil production was cut in half by a series of drone and missile strikes that set the world’s largest crude processing facility on fire. world.

The attack on Abqaiq in September 2019, which Riyadh and Washington blame on Iran, was an early test of Prince Abdulaziz, son of King Salman and half-brother of the kingdom’s famous crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

When oil prices jumped 20 percent, the prince was airlifted from London to the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, after which he soon announced that the kingdom would be able to maintain oil supplies while repairing the damage.

Oil traders saw prices decline. But while Prince Abdulaziz may have been lucky in this case, the evidence has hardly stopped since.

Commercial

Article content

In less than two years he has had to navigate the controversial public listing of Saudi Aramco at the end of 2019; the start of the COVID-19 pandemic; a subsequent short-lived price war with Russia; and then he asks US President Donald Trump to change course and lead a record cut in world oil production.

His supporters say the 61-year-old prince, who has been married for 34 years and has three children in his twenties, has proven himself up to the task. “If it weren’t for his experience, any of these events would have overwhelmed an energy minister,” says Bassam Fattouh at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where Prince Abdulaziz is a board member.

But for his critics, Prince Abdulaziz has his flaws, including downplaying two of the most important tests lurking in the background.

Rising oil prices – Brent crude rose above $ 70 a barrel this week – is not universally welcome as inflationary fears have resurfaced on the horizon. And his dismissal this week of the International Energy Agency’s “roadmap” for a net zero future as being from La La Land has put him at odds with the shift in sentiment in an industry that is finally taking change seriously. climate.

Commercial

Article content

His soft-spoken diplomatic appearance often slides in at such moments to reveal a louder and more scathing response to criticism or doubts more in keeping with his royal status. “You never know what kind of Abdulaziz you are going to have,” says a veteran OPEC delegate. “There are some meetings where he is very good and enjoyable and others where he just loses the plot against certain countries.”

Lean and bespectacled with an academic air, Prince Abdulaziz presents himself as a low-key but canny negotiator who wants to build consensus. Years working for technocrats like former ministers Ali Al Naimi and Khalid Al Falih, people close to him say, is a sign of his temperament despite being a prince with immense privilege.

Yet he enjoys the limelight at press conferences and exercises his status as the de facto head of OPEC and a direct line in the House of Saud to get his way.

Last year he warned traders who dare to bet against Saudi oil policy that they would be “doing a hell of a job.” This week he said he wanted to bring the “speculators” in the oil market to their knees.

Photographs of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia are seen at a conference at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Photographs of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia are seen at a conference at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo by REUTERS / Faisal al-Nasser.

It has lobbied other OPEC members to increase compliance with supply agreements. But he also praises those who do, leading an OPEC meeting in a round of applause for Iraq, a frequent laggard, after it came close to achieving its goals.

“He likes to be unpredictable, to some extent it’s calculated unpredictability,” says Christyan Malek, head of oil research at JPMorgan.

Commercial

Article content

Things get complicated when he is asked to respond to political actions taken by the kingdom, often by Prince Mohammed, who is its effective boss.

At the Davos summit last year, a UK television crew sought a reaction to claims that Prince Mohammed had been involved in hacking the phone of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. As he was being chased down a corridor, Prince Abdulaziz called the line of questioning “a joke” and the journalist “stupid” before briefly removing the microphone from him.

He has made few comments about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the United States concluded was approved by Prince Mohammed, although their relationship is believed to be not close according to people who know Prince Abdulaziz.

His allies would prefer to focus on his role in reforming the national electricity sector and professionalizing the relationship between Saudi Aramco and the Ministry of Energy.

But as Western oil companies withdraw investment in fossil fuels under pressure from climate change, the kingdom is barely hedging its bets.

Prince Mohammed wants to lift Saudi Arabia’s economy from its dependence on oil, but Prince Abdulaziz sees an opportunity to increase production capacity, believing that the world will always need a cheap source of abundant fuel.

Amrita Sen, an analyst at Energy Aspects, says Prince Abdulaziz “thinks deeply” about the challenges facing the world. “The energy sector is very important to him. Reflect on many of these issues. “

But any push to curb new oil projects, as proposed in the IEA’s net zero roadmap, is unlikely.

“Whoever put that scenario (together),” Prince Abdulaziz said this week, “is not in touch with reality.”

© 2021 The Financial Times Ltd

Commercial

In-depth reports on the economics of innovation from The Logic, presented in association with the Financial Post.

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civilized discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to moderate before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a response to your comment, there is an update from a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Principles for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement

Lifestyle

15 naturally sweetened desserts for when you’re cutting back on sugar 15 naturally sweetened desserts for when you’re cutting back on sugar
LifeStyle15 hours ago

15 naturally sweetened desserts for when you’re cutting back on sugar

About a year ago, I realized (or just came out of denial …) that I needed to do something about...

What are carbohydrates?  Are they really the enemy?  Let’s find out What are carbohydrates?  Are they really the enemy?  Let’s find out
LifeStyle15 hours ago

What are carbohydrates? Are they really the enemy? Let’s find out

Editor’s note: McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN is a dietitian and founder of Nutrition stripped away. Over the years, I...

Pea salad with mint and microgreens Pea salad with mint and microgreens
LifeStyle15 hours ago

Pea salad with mint and microgreens

** This recipe is from our Tastemakers interview with Kennesha Buycks. Read the full story here! ** The Pea Salad...

Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme and Smoked Salt Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme and Smoked Salt
LifeStyle16 hours ago

Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme and Smoked Salt

** This recipe is from our Tastemakers interview with Kennesha Buycks. Read the full story here! ** The post Roasted...

Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme and Smoked Salt Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme and Smoked Salt
LifeStyle16 hours ago

Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme and Smoked Salt

** This recipe is from our Tastemakers interview with Kennesha Buycks. Read the full story here! ** The post Roasted...

15 quick and healthy dinner recipes to get you through the week 15 quick and healthy dinner recipes to get you through the week
LifeStyle16 hours ago

15 quick and healthy dinner recipes to get you through the week

Even the most avid home cooks can occasionally go blank – sometimes, you fall into a race and just can’t...

Instagram store M’sian selling homemade tahini cookies Instagram store M’sian selling homemade tahini cookies
LifeStyle1 day ago

Instagram store M’sian selling homemade tahini cookies

With many IG companies popping up these days, fresh, locally made cookies from various recipes are one of the things...

Dinner will resume on June 21, but with a limit of just two people Dinner will resume on June 21, but with a limit of just two people
LifeStyle1 day ago

Dinner will resume on June 21, but with a limit of just two people

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced last Thursday (June 10) that Singapore is moving into Phase 3 (Heightened Alert). While...

Moving on to pizza deliveries during MCO Moving on to pizza deliveries during MCO
LifeStyle1 day ago

Moving on to pizza deliveries during MCO

Crackhouse Comedy Club (Crackhouse) has been home to local comedians, including Dr. Jason Leong, Joanne Kam, Hannah Azlan, and Kavin...

[Review] Going Under is a roguelike game focused on tech startup culture [Review] Going Under is a roguelike game focused on tech startup culture
LifeStyle1 day ago

[Review] Going Under is a roguelike game focused on tech startup culture

While browsing a recent Steam offering, a game called Going under He caught my attention. Its premise combines my two...

Advertisement

Sport

Anderson’s appearance came at the right time for Canadians Anderson’s appearance came at the right time for Canadians
Sports10 mins ago

Anderson’s appearance came at the right time for Canadians

We have sent an email with instructions to create a new password. Your current password has not been changed. We...

Gilas to show that Korea wins is not a fluke;  Tab fires again at the ‘lucky break’ comment Gilas to show that Korea wins is not a fluke;  Tab fires again at the ‘lucky break’ comment
Sports33 mins ago

Gilas to show that Korea wins is not a fluke; Tab fires again at the ‘lucky break’ comment

Gilas Pilipinas in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers. PHOTO OF THE FIBA ​​ASIA CUP MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas...

Price and Weber talk about bouncing back and taking Game 3 in overtime Price and Weber talk about bouncing back and taking Game 3 in overtime
Sports56 mins ago

Price and Weber talk about bouncing back and taking Game 3 in overtime

We have sent an email with instructions to create a new password. Your current password has not been changed. We...

Who is Terance Mann?  Clippers point guard becomes a scoring machine in Game 6 win over Jazz Who is Terance Mann?  Clippers point guard becomes a scoring machine in Game 6 win over Jazz
Sports1 hour ago

Who is Terance Mann? Clippers point guard becomes a scoring machine in Game 6 win over Jazz

The Clippers leading scorer what. . . Who? That’s the question many casual basketball fans will ask themselves after looking...

Filipino shooter Jayson Valdez gets a place at the Tokyo Olympics Filipino shooter Jayson Valdez gets a place at the Tokyo Olympics
Sports1 hour ago

Filipino shooter Jayson Valdez gets a place at the Tokyo Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – A second-generation shooter came to Team Philippines bound for the Tokyo Olympics and was awarded a free...

How Suzuki and Anderson set the tone for the Canadiens in Game 3 How Suzuki and Anderson set the tone for the Canadiens in Game 3
Sports2 hours ago

How Suzuki and Anderson set the tone for the Canadiens in Game 3

var adServerUrl = “”; var $ el = $ (“# video_container-524635”); var permalink = $ el.closest (‘. snet-single-article’). data (‘permalink’);...

Eriksen discharged after successful operation for cardiac starter implant Eriksen discharged after successful operation for cardiac starter implant
Sports2 hours ago

Eriksen discharged after successful operation for cardiac starter implant

FILE PHOTO: Christian Eriksen of Denmark during the Euro 2020 match between Denmark and Finland on June 12, 2021. Group...

Clippers expose Jazz weaknesses in impressive comeback series finale Clippers expose Jazz weaknesses in impressive comeback series finale
Sports2 hours ago

Clippers expose Jazz weaknesses in impressive comeback series finale

Not even most Hollywood screenwriters could have written this. The Los Angeles Clippers are heading into their first conference final...

Report: Pacers president Kevin Pritchard’s job is safe Report: Pacers president Kevin Pritchard’s job is safe
Sports3 hours ago

Report: Pacers president Kevin Pritchard’s job is safe

The Pacers are among several teams making a change of coach this summer, but president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard...

The Resilient Canadiens steal Game 3 and score a momentous win without Showering Me The Resilient Canadiens steal Game 3 and score a momentous win without Showering Me
Sports3 hours ago

The Resilient Canadiens steal Game 3 and score a momentous win without Showering Me

MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens were without their coach and legs, ready to be drafted by a Vegas Golden Knights...

Advertisement

Entertainment

‘I Love My Dad’ Wraps;  ‘Bad Detective’ and ‘A Rising Tide’ Deals – Movie Summaries – News Block ‘I Love My Dad’ Wraps;  ‘Bad Detective’ and ‘A Rising Tide’ Deals – Movie Summaries – News Block
Entertainment13 mins ago

‘I Love My Dad’ Wraps; ‘Bad Detective’ and ‘A Rising Tide’ Deals – Movie Summaries – News Block

Patton Oswalt stars and stars alongside screenwriter / director James Morosini in I love my dad, a comedy-drama that just...

Black Widow’s David Harbor Teases Red Guardian vs. Captain America Story – News Block Black Widow’s David Harbor Teases Red Guardian vs. Captain America Story – News Block
Entertainment35 mins ago

Black Widow’s David Harbor Teases Red Guardian vs. Captain America Story – News Block

Warning: the following contains spoilers about Black widow opening on July 9 In the upcoming and highly anticipated Disney /...

KUWTK: Kim Kardashian Claims She And Kanye West Have ‘Amazing Co-Parenting Relationship’ KUWTK: Kim Kardashian Claims She And Kanye West Have ‘Amazing Co-Parenting Relationship’
Entertainment58 mins ago

KUWTK: Kim Kardashian Claims She And Kanye West Have ‘Amazing Co-Parenting Relationship’

Kim kardashian became sincere about her current position Kanye west following their separation! Look what she had to say! During...

Teigen Bullying Led ‘Project Runway’ Star To Consider Suicide: Claim – News Block Teigen Bullying Led ‘Project Runway’ Star To Consider Suicide: Claim – News Block
Entertainment1 hour ago

Teigen Bullying Led ‘Project Runway’ Star To Consider Suicide: Claim – News Block

UPDATED at 5:40 pm: Chrissy Teigen had strong words for the designer and ex Catwalk project contestant Michael Costello. Costello...

Heidi Klum poses topless and packs the PDA with her husband Tom Kaulitz on the beach – look at the romantic photo! Heidi Klum poses topless and packs the PDA with her husband Tom Kaulitz on the beach – look at the romantic photo!
Entertainment2 hours ago

Heidi Klum poses topless and packs the PDA with her husband Tom Kaulitz on the beach – look at the romantic photo!

Heidi klum other Tom kaulitz They have been husband and wife for the past two years and it seems they...

Bill Maher on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In the Heights’ Controversy – News Block Bill Maher on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In the Heights’ Controversy – News Block
Entertainment2 hours ago

Bill Maher on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In the Heights’ Controversy – News Block

Bill Maher had some advice for Lin-Manuel Miranda on Friday. “Stop apologizing,” Maher said of Miranda’s reaction to criticism that...

Soulja Boy flirts with Kim Kardashian under sensuality and revealing new photos! Soulja Boy flirts with Kim Kardashian under sensuality and revealing new photos!
Entertainment2 hours ago

Soulja Boy flirts with Kim Kardashian under sensuality and revealing new photos!

Kim kardashian She is in the middle of her divorce from her children’s father, rapper Kanye West, but it seems...

Disneyland Annual Pass Replacement with Membership Program – News Block Disneyland Annual Pass Replacement with Membership Program – News Block
Entertainment3 hours ago

Disneyland Annual Pass Replacement with Membership Program – News Block

In the months since Disneyland announced that it will end its annual pass program, frequent park visitors have worried about...

KUWTK: Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are said to have a very complex relationship! KUWTK: Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are said to have a very complex relationship!
Entertainment3 hours ago

KUWTK: Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are said to have a very complex relationship!

Amid new speculation that Kylie jenner other Travis scott they are together again as a couple, one informant claims to...

James Gunn has created a Marvel and DC crossover in both studios James Gunn has created a Marvel and DC crossover in both studios
Entertainment4 hours ago

James Gunn has created a Marvel and DC crossover in both studios

Suicide squad other Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn recently shared that he brought up the idea of ​​doing...

Advertisement

Tech

Best Mac Mini Deals: Up to $ 100 Off M1 Models Best Mac Mini Deals: Up to $ 100 Off M1 Models
Tech3 hours ago

Best Mac Mini Deals: Up to $ 100 Off M1 Models

If you are already using iPhone and iPad devices and are familiar with Apple services, it makes sense to get...

Don’t pay full price for your MacBook Air M1 this Prime Day Don’t pay full price for your MacBook Air M1 this Prime Day
Tech3 hours ago

Don’t pay full price for your MacBook Air M1 this Prime Day

It’s a great time of year to think about your next big tech purchase with Amazon Prime Day just around...

Rose Byrne’s new drama series ‘Physical’ debuts on Apple TV + Rose Byrne’s new drama series ‘Physical’ debuts on Apple TV +
Tech3 hours ago

Rose Byrne’s new drama series ‘Physical’ debuts on Apple TV +

“Physical,” the new drama series starring Rose Byrne, premiered on Apple TV +. The series follows the story of Sheila...

The Jonas Brothers Help Promote Apple Music’s Spatial Audio With ‘Happiness Begins’ The Jonas Brothers Help Promote Apple Music’s Spatial Audio With ‘Happiness Begins’
Tech4 hours ago

The Jonas Brothers Help Promote Apple Music’s Spatial Audio With ‘Happiness Begins’

Apple Music continues to expand its song library with Spatial Audio and now you can listen to the Jonas Brothers...

Google Doodle commemorates June 19 and the abolition of slavery in the US. Google Doodle commemorates June 19 and the abolition of slavery in the US.
Tech4 hours ago

Google Doodle commemorates June 19 and the abolition of slavery in the US.

Google’s 19th Doodle features images of past and present celebrations. Google In 1865, Union troops arrived in Texas to inform...

Prime Day could be your last chance to make big savings on these MacBook Pro models Prime Day could be your last chance to make big savings on these MacBook Pro models
Tech4 hours ago

Prime Day could be your last chance to make big savings on these MacBook Pro models

If you’re looking to save on an Apple device, it’s generally a good idea to look at a product from...

Tears of Themis is a strange and potentially amazing romantic detective game for iOS and you can pre-order it now Tears of Themis is a strange and potentially amazing romantic detective game for iOS and you can pre-order it now
Tech4 hours ago

Tears of Themis is a strange and potentially amazing romantic detective game for iOS and you can pre-order it now

Tears of Themis, a new romance detective game courtesy of miHoYo Limited, will be available for download from the App...

You can download Frenzic: Overtime for free on Apple Arcade today. You can download Frenzic: Overtime for free on Apple Arcade today.
Tech5 hours ago

You can download Frenzic: Overtime for free on Apple Arcade today.

Players can now download the new Apple Arcade game Frenzic: Overtime from the App Store after launch day. Finally rolled...

August Smart Lock vs. Smart Lock Pro: Which Smart Lock Should You Buy? August Smart Lock vs. Smart Lock Pro: Which Smart Lock Should You Buy?
Tech5 hours ago

August Smart Lock vs. Smart Lock Pro: Which Smart Lock Should You Buy?

Simple and reliable August smart lock King of functionality August Smart Lock Pro (3rd Gen) August Smart Lock is one...

HBO Max: 10 of the best movies to watch tonight HBO Max: 10 of the best movies to watch tonight
Tech5 hours ago

HBO Max: 10 of the best movies to watch tonight

In the Heights hit HBO Max last Friday. Warner Bros. Thanks to WarnerMedia’s simultaneous theater and streaming Launch plan, main...

Advertisement
Advertisement