Saudi billionaire, Prince al-Walid bin Talal, has called for “serious and immediate action to limit [domestic oil] consumption.” In a letter publicized on his twitter account on 29 July, but sent to key Saudi royals and ministers, including King ‘Abd Allah and Saudi Oil Minister, Ali Naimi, on 15 May, Prince al-Walid argued US shale production posed a clear threat to the Saudi economy.
Prince al-Walid, through his Kingdom Holding Company, has investments across a wide range of sectors, including finance (with a major stake in Citigroup), and hotels (including in the Four Seasons and Movenpick chains). But his investment exposure to energy, with the exception of a stake in Saudi petchems firm Tasnee, is relatively slim. Prince al-Walid, widely believed to be the richest individual in the Middle East, lacks both expertise and any formal role in the Saudi energy decision-making process. (CONTINUED - 458 WORDS)