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Saudi Aramco Now Is Under Supreme Petroleum Council As Abdullah Powers Widen.

The Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals has taken over the management of Saudi Aramco, replacing the company's Supreme Council. The Council now is in charge of Saudi Aramco strategies. But there is no change in the functions of and membership in Saudi Aramco's 12-man board of directors. Other than overseeing this company, the council is in charge of the kingdom's policy-making for both the petroleum and minerals sectors. It approves major projects and agreements in the two sectors. It is shortly to approve major gas upstream/downstream investment proposals made by 12 foreign petroleum companies.

Established in January 2000, the Council consists of 13 members as follows: King Fahd Ibn Abdel Aziz, chairman; Crown Prince and 1st Deputy PM Abdullah Ibn Abdel Aziz, 1st deputy chairman, 2nd Deputy PM/Defence Minister Prince Sultan Ibn Abdel Aziz, 2nd deputy chairman; Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal, member and chairman of a committee negotiating with the 12 foreign companies for gas-based projects; Oil Minister Ali Naimi, member and part of Prince Saud's negotiating body; Finance Minister Ibrahim Al Assaf, member and part of the negotiating body; Industry & Electricity Minister Hashem Yamani, member and part of the negotiating body; Planning Minister Khalid Al Qusaibi, member and part of the negotiating body; State Minister Mutleb Bin Abdullah Al Nafisah, member and secretary general; President of King Abdel Aziz City for Science & Technology Saleh Al Ithil, member; Finance Ministry Undersecretary Abdel Aziz Al Rashed, member; Saudi Aramco President Abdullah Jum'ah, member; and Nagotiating committee secretary-general Abdel Rahman Al Suheibani, member.

Prince Abdullah has seen his powers widened further. He is the day-to-day ruler of Saudi Arabia, although King Fahd does occasionally chair the weekly cabinet meetings and receives most of the prominent foreign visitors.

Just before the Arab summit was held in Cairo on Oct. 21-22, Prince Abdullah was empowered to oversee all strategic matters pertaining to both internal and external affairs. He also convened a meeting of the royal family's council, which he formed in early June 2000. Under his chairmanship, this council comprises 18 senior princes.
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Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Date:Oct 30, 2000
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