The new oil minister, Khalid al-Falih, is believed to have been instrumental in turning Aramco's business processes and protocols into a quasi-western model, thus facilitating the much talked-about Aramco IPO. Having accomplished that task, the time had come for al-Falih to become the energy minister and implement a seamless execution of Saudi Arabia's goal to generate more non-oil related revenues.
Will this cure the omnipresent and increasing rifts in OPEC? No, that time has long since passed. Will it facilitate a seamless execution of Saudi Arabia's strategy? Yes. Are the Saudis afraid of neighbors attacking their fields and infrastructure? Of course. However, with the U.S. providing $50 billion of defense-related equipment to Saudi Arabia, they are well justified in believing that for the time being, they are secure within their borders. That is a political reality. The political banter of deteriorating relations with Saudi Arabia is a product of an election year.
"Lower for longer" oil prices? Highly likely. That is the strategic objective of Saudi Arabia. And they have the financial prowess and production capacity to accomplish that goal.