Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter, on Saturday appointed Khalid al-Falih, chairman of the state oil giant Saudi Aramco, as its new energy minister, replacing Ali al-Naimi, who had held the post since 1995.
A royal decree quoted on state television said the petroleum ministry had been renamed to become the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, and that Falih would give up his other post, that of health minister.
Riyadh in 2014 introduced a new oil strategy aimed at defending its market share and allowing cheap crude to balance the market without cutting supplies, regardless of how low oil prices might fall.
Falih's appointment is only likely to strengthen this strategy rather than lead to any change in thinking, Saudi watchers and analysts say.
"The appointment of Falih has been expected for some time," said Saddad al-Hosseini, a Saudi energy consultant.
"He has the right industrial and executive experience to lead the reorganization of the energy and electricity sectors."
Falih has for years been considered a possible successor to Naimi, who also stepped up to oil minister after heading Aramco.