Saudi Arabia Names Naif Al-Otaibi Deputy Oil Minister

Saudi Arabia named Naif al-Otaibi to the No. 2 job at the oil ministry, filling a position that had been vacant for nine years.

Al-Otaibi, a U.S-educated economist, will become deputy minister for petroleum affairs, according to a cabinet statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency yesterday. The post is one rung below the minister, Ali al-Naimi, who has been in his job since 1995. The kingdom is OPEC’s largest producer, pumping 9.75 million barrels a day in March, Bloomberg data show.

The position was last held by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, now the assistant minister for petroleum affairs, a person familiar with the kingdom’s oil policy said. Al-Otaibi was part of the prince’s team before being promoted, the person said, asking not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak to the media.

Al-Otaibi handled all issues related to the World Trade Organization and trade disputes for Saudi petrochemical and energy companies, the person said.

Al-Otaibi earned a doctorate in economics from American University in Washington in 2001, according to an online database of dissertations and data on the website of the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the U.S.

Additional information