Khalid al-Falih has gone from holding three plum roles in Saudi Arabia to just one in the space of a week after being stripped of his responsibility for overseeing industrial development and for chairing Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company.

Falih, who remains the kingdom’s energy minister, has put a brave face on his sudden loss of status. But the question remains for the broader oil industry: what comes next?

Over the past three years, Falih has helped manage Saudi Arabia’s deepening relationship with Russia, meeting regularly with Alexander Novak, his opposite number, as the two oil titans have worked together to prop up the price.

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