Falih: Aramco operating in "volatile environment"

Company CEO and newly appointed chairman spoke at annual meeting in Seoul, Korea last week

Saudi Aramco announced six new vice presidents.
Saudi Aramco announced six new vice presidents.

Saudi Aramco’s Falih Al-Khalid said last week that the company is operating in “a volatile environment” economically and geopolitically, referring to the continued oil price slump and the political instability in the region in countries like Yemen and Libya.

Speaking at the company’s annual meeting in Seoul, Korea, Aramco’s newly appointed chairman added that the world is looking to Saudi Aramco to show its true strength in the face of adversity.

“As an organisation, we have to be operating to the gold standard, the benchmark,” said Al-Falih. “People look at us as a best in class organisation.”

The statement comes at an interesting time for Saudi Aramco and the Kingdom, as King Salman on Wednesday appointed Saudi Aramco's chief executive as chairman of the state oil company and health minister, while also announcing a new heir to the throne and a new foreign minister.

The post of Saudi Aramco Chairman was previously occupied by Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, who served as the company president and CEO between 1983 and 1995, when he was appointed oil minister.

The board also made six vice-president appointments including Abdulaziz A. Al Abdulkarim, Ibraheem M. Assa’adan, Nabeel A. Al Jama’, Nabeel A. Al Mansour, Nasser A. Al Nafisee, and Muhammad M. Al Saggaf. Additionally, general management appointments included Salah M. Al Hareky, Fuad A. AlHazmi, and John Stuart Lilly.

The Saudi cabinet reshuffle and the newly introduced changes to Aramco’s leadership have prompted questions about what effect these would have on the Kingdom’s oil policy.

But experts have so far dismissed speculations that the late changes in the Saudi government would impact on the Kingdom’s stance on production and maintaining market share.

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