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There are a lot of ministers out there that have been given charge over some of the most important facets of what keeps this country running smoothly, and it should behoove us to know a little bit more about some of these position holders, and here, we’re going to talk about today’s Minister of Energy, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud. Prince Abdulaziz was born in 1960 and is the fourth son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and is a graduate of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management and a Master of Business Administration degree. Prince Abdulaziz began his career in the oil and gas industry when he joined the Saudi Aramco Research Institute and held several positions in the company, including Vice President of the Research and Development Center and Vice President of the Industrial Research Center and he was appointed Assistant Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for Economic and Industrial Affairs.
In 2017, Prince Abdulaziz was appointed State Minister for Energy Affairs then later appointed Minister of Energy in September 2019 and as he continues to hold this position, Prince Abdulaziz is responsible for overseeing many responsibilities, such as the Kingdom’s oil and gas industry and is also responsible for developing and implementing the Kingdom’s energy policies. The importance of this position can not be understated, as The Minister of Energy impacts Saudi Arabia in several critical ways that can either make or break the KSA’s oil and gas industries, which are still a large contributor to the Kingdom’s economy (though steps are constantly being taken to lean less on this revenue source via the Vision 2030 Program).
Further, the Minister is responsible for developing and implementing the Kingdom’s energy policies which include oil and gas production, renewable energy, and energy efficiency, while remaining responsible for representing Saudi Arabia in international energy negotiations, including negotiations with other oil-producing countries and with countries that are interested in importing Saudi oil and gas. The Minister is also responsible for promoting the Kingdom’s energy industry which includes promoting investment in the Kingdom’s oil and gas industry and the Kingdom’s renewable energy resources and is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the Kingdom’s energy infrastructure; I.E., protecting the Kingdom’s oil and gas production facilities from attack and protecting the Kingdom’s electrical grid from cyberattacks.
The Minister of Energy is a key figure in the Saudi government and has a significant impact on the Kingdom’s economy and energy policy, but to watch him work under all these pressing issues and remain calm, cool, and collected while in control of such a paramount sector is indeed impressive. The ability to remain calm under pressure, handle scrutiny in a productive and results-driven manner, and find solutions to complex problems, exemplifies his experience, tenure, and cool-mannered control. When you see gentlemen such as Prince Abdulaziz make remarks in the press, giving a talk during an event, or otherwise, they make the job appear easy, as they have solutions available to be discussed publicly, or revealed through media, but what we don’t see in these kinds of venues is the strength and dedication it takes to get to such a position, moreover, thrive in it.
Prof. Alaa Alghamdi
Saudi Scholar & Writer *