Saudi Arabia ousts long-serving oil minister Ali Al Naimi

Saudi Arabia ousts long-serving oil minister Ali Al Naimi

Saudi Arabia has ousted its long-serving oil minister who was the driver behind Opec's 2014 policy of holding production despite plummeting oil prices.

Ali al-Naimi, who held the post from 1995, has been replaced by Khalid Al Falih, chairman of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, according to nation's media.

They cited a royal decree saying the petroleum ministry had been renamed as the ministry of energy, industry and mining. Falih will leave his previous post of health minister, it said.

Ali al-Naimi had pushed for Opec to hold production nearly two years ago despite plummeting oil prices, to price out the emergent US shale gas industry. The policy had courted controversy from some of the smaller producers such as Venezuela.

He was also a key actor in the more recent Doha meeting which failed to produce a widely expected production freeze deal. The talks collapsed after Saudi Arabia objected to regional rival Iran's last minute decision not to attend.

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