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Saudi Arabia says to maintain stable petroleum policies

ABU DHABI/KHOBAR (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister said on Sunday the world’s largest crude exporter was committed to meeting demand for hydrocarbons from its customers and would maintain its petroleum policies.

“Saudi Arabia will maintain its stable petroleum policies. We remain committed to maintaining our role in international energy markets and strengthening our position as the world’s most reliable supplier of energy,” Khalid al-Falih said in an e-mailed statement.

“We are committed to meeting existing and additional hydrocarbons demand from our expanding global customer base, backed by our current maximum sustainable capacity.”

Since 2014, Saudi Arabia has led OPEC through a new survival-of-the-fittest strategy aimed at defending market share rather than reducing production to support oil prices.

Falih’s comments on Sunday support analysts’ views that no shift in Saudi oil policy is likely as a result of his appointment.

Falih’s appointment was part of a bigger Saudi shake-up announced on Saturday as King Salman restructered some big ministries in a major reshuffle intended to support a wide-ranging economic reform programme.

As part of the restructuring, the Petroleum Ministry has been renamed the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.

“The creation of a new Ministry in Saudi Arabia that brings together the Kingdom’s abundant and unrivalled energy and mineral resources and industrial capabilities is in line with the ambitious objectives of Saudi Vision 2030,” Falih said.

(Reporting by Maha El Dahan and Reem Shamseddine; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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