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Tue Feb 23, 2021, 06:55 AM

Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Former Saudi Oil Minister, Dies at 90

Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabia’s powerful oil minister and architect of the Arab world’s drive to control its own energy resources in the 1970s and its subsequent ability to affect oil production, fuel prices and international affairs, died in London. He was 90.

His death was announced on Tuesday by Saudi state television.

In an era of turbulent energy politics, Mr. Yamani, a Harvard-trained lawyer, spoke for Arab oil producers on a world stage as the industry weathered Arab-Israeli wars, a revolution in Iran and growing pains. The world’s demand for oil lifted the governments of Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states into realms of unimaginable wealth. Crossing Europe, Asia and America to promote Arab oil interests, he met government leaders, went on television and became widely known. In a flowing Arabian robe or a Savile Row suit, speaking English or French, he straddled cultures, loving European classical music and writing Arabic poetry.

Mr. Yamani generally strived for price stability and orderly markets, but he is best known for engineering a 1973 oil embargo that led to soaring global prices, gasoline shortages and a quest for smaller cars, renewable energy sources and independence from Arab oil.

As the Saudi oil minister from 1962 to 1986, Mr. Yamani was the most powerful commoner in a kingdom that possessed some of the world’s largest oil reserves. For nearly 25 years, he was also the dominant official of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, whose rising and falling production quotas rippled like tides through worldwide markets.

More at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/23/business/ahmed-zaki-yamani-dead.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage

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