The past week has seen the biggest shakeup of Saudi Arabia’s oil sector since 2016. Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has had his ministerial portfolio reduced and has been replaced as Saudi Aramco chairman by Yasir al-Rumayyan, the head of the PIF sovereign wealth fund.

Aramco is in the middle of paying $69.1bn for PIF’s 70% stake of state-petchems giant Sabic (MEES, 29 March), so Mr Rumayyan will now be overseeing the closing of the transactions from both sides. Moreover, Aramco’s planned IPO is aimed primarily at providing $100bn seed capital for PIF. As the fund’s managing director, Mr Rumayyan will be far more incentivized than Mr Falih to push through the Aramco IPO. (CONTINUED - 1026 WORDS)