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Aramco chair takes Saudi oil minister post

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Chairman Khalid Al-Falih has replacedAli Al-Naimi as the head of the country's Ministry of Energy, Industry andMineral Resources, according to a May 7 royal order posted by the Saudi PressAgency.

As per a royal decree, Al-Naimi will still hold the rank ofminister, but will now serve as an adviser at the royal court, after being oilminister since 1995. Al-Falih was previously minister of health.

With stated reserves of approximately 260 billion barrels,Aramco's holdings are estimated to be more than 10 times that of the largestpublicly traded international oil and gas company, Texas-based Saudi Aramcoproduces almost 10 million barrels of crude per day in 2015, according to theOrganization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

An earlier report noted that Saudi Arabia was making a part of thestate-owned company public. Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, in aninterview, said the decision on whether to proceed with an IPO will occur inthe coming months.