Saudi Arabia has removed energy minister Khalid al-Falih, one of the most powerful figures in the global oil industry, in a dramatic shake-up of the kingdom’s most important government department.

The move, announced in the early hours of Sept 8, will see King Salman’s son Abdulaziz appointed new energy minister, breaking the longtime convention in which members of the ruling family are not appointed to the top position in the kingdom’s economy.

Analysts said the move would send shockwaves through the global energy industry at a time when Saudi Arabia and its oil producing allies have been struggling to raise prices.

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