AS soon as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made an announcement regarding the terrorist attack on oil facilities from known sources, social media sites were bombarded with analyses and interpretations concerning situation of the global oil market.
However, the Saudi administration that has the news of certainty allayed fears right from the highest authority, saying the attack will not affect supply. Some people even believed the crisis was a Herculean task for newly appointed Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman at the beginning of his assignment to the portfolio. Opportunists went deeper with an impression that it was a difficult task for him.
These people do not know Prince Abdulaziz or his history, so they were quick to judge his appointment as head of one of the most important sectors in Saudi Arabia. They claimed the appointment was meant to appease him as the son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Such prejudgment is false … far from the truth. Therefore, these people might have been surprised by the press conference organized by the new minister. It was extremely transparent and he spoke with clarity, not the stereotype that journalists used to hear from previous ministers, as he said what they never anticipated.
Abdulaziz bin Salman is the first from the ruling family to oversee the ministry. He is not an outsider, because he worked in the sector for several years and he acted as minister of State for three ministries. He recorded massive successes in overcoming obstacles in the past few years to seal pacts with OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers (OPEC+), during which oil ministers in and outside OPEC discovered his strong persuasion ability and sagacity in that aspect.
A proverb says: “Whoever is engaged in a profession which matches his hobby is successful.” Abdulaziz bin Salman obtained Master’s Degree in Industrial Management and Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Business Administration. He has been working in that field since his graduation, so it is not a strange terrain for him. He would not have been appointed to the position if he failed to prove himself over the years.
What the man said in the press conference reassured the importers who have known him to be truthful over the years. This affirmed that the Kingdom is capable of fulfilling its obligations. They also understood that the transparent manner by which he spoke means there is a new era in Saudi oil administration strategy.
This frank and responsible position indicates one fact — Saudi Arabia remains a peacemaker diffusing all mines which could be planted by evil hearts to cause instability. It stems from the philosophy that oil is a global commodity surrounded by disputes and alliances, so it is not as much a property for the producer like the consumer who must protect the commodity.
Thus, the statement of Abdulaziz bin Salman that the attack on ARAMCO affects the international market, including customers who do not buy oil from the Kingdom, is a warning to the international community which should not slack in protecting its interests and this begins with protecting the interests of Saudi Arabia.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times