Separation between Aramco and government "a must": Prince Abdulaziz
In his first interview since taking on the position of Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman confirmed that Saudi Aramco's relationship to the government will be kept at a distance
Saudi Arabia's newly appointed energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, confirmed a stronger separation between Saudi Aramco and his ministry, as the company tries to speed up progress towards its planned initial public offering (IPO).
While the ministry will remain a regulator and policy maker for Saudi Arabia's energy industry, Prince Abdulaziz told delegates at the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi that "I have no doubt in my mind that emphasising the separation between Aramco, the corporate, and the ministry as a regulator, is a must."
"The regulator cannot be a person, the regulator has to be an institution. That regulator reole has to be defined, and the confines of the role of the regulator have to be understood," he said.
Prior to Prince Abdulaziz, the nation's energy minister has traditionally also been appointed Saudi Aramco's chairman, giving him direct oversight over the company's goals and strategy.
Khalid Al-Falih, who directly preceded Prince Abdulaziz as energy minister, was also removed from his position as the chairman of Saudi Aramco, to be replaced by the governor of the Public Investment Fund Yasir Othman al-Rumayyan.
This comes as Saudi Aramco barrels towards an IPO, the cornerstone of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's economic diversification programme. The company plans to list 5% of the company by 2020-21.