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King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia


Jan 23 2015, 10.12am GMT


King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia was pronounced dead on early Friday morning.

As the OPEC leader’s king passed away, the impact on the oil market saw a sudden upward surge to $49, a dive to $45.88 and a leveling-out to $46.70 by 09.00am GMT.

The leader of the Saudi Kingdom, King Abdullah was renowned for his business stance and austerity approach plus his resistance of fundamentalist Islamic control. He was sovereign through the much of the Kingdom’s oil ‘revolution’, over-seeing a five-fold increase in the country’s economy leading to current oil production figures of 9.5 million barrels a day and exports of 7 million.

In November, Saudi Arabia led OPEC in their decision to maintain production levels to keep market share, even as a glut appeared in the global oil market and prices hit a 5 year low, 50% down on June 2014 prices.

Recently King Abdullah caught a lung infection and passed away Friday morning at the age of 90 years. His successor is his half-brother 79-year-old, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz. Speculation on the new leadership’s approach to oil prices and production will be seen firstly through the retention of oil minister Ali al-Naimi, who has been the instigator and spokesperson for the Saudi’s stance on oil. There has been no announcement for his resignation though Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, son of the new King Salman is currently assistant oil minister.

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