Saudi Arabia’s state oil company is to be separated from the oil ministry as part of a wider restructuring.
The move was approved by the Supreme Economic Council, which was set up by King Salman this year to replace the Supreme Petroleum Council.
The new 10-member council is headed by the King’s son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
He was appointed this week as the new deputy crown prince and is regarded as second in line to the throne.
On Wednesday, King Salman appointed Saudi Aramco’s chief executive Khalid al-Falih as chairman of the company and health minister as part of a major political reshuffle. He has been replaced by Aramco senior vice-president Amin al-Nasser.
The main facets of Saudi oil policy – including maintaining the ability to stabilise markets by holding extensive reserves and a reluctance to interfere in the market for political reasons – are set by the top members of the ruling royal family.
Air strikes by the US-led coalition targeting Islamic State militants have killed more than 50 civilians in northern Syria, activists say.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group, says Birmahle village was hit on Friday and that some people were still trapped in rubble.
A spokesman for US Central Command it had “no information to corroborate allegations that coalition air strikes resulted in civilian casualties”.
But he said it was investigating.
Earlier this month, the Observatory said the US-led air campaign had killed more than 2,000 people in total, including at least 1,922 IS fighters.
“Air strikes by the coalition early on Friday on the village of Birmahle in Aleppo province killed 52 civilians,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP news agency. Read More