CNBC's Melissa Francis reported today on "speculation" that the Saudi Oil Minister, Ali Al-Nami, might be replaced when the Saudi monarchy shakes up its cabinet in February. Al-Nami has held the post for 12 years. Also of note on oil--the New York Times reported over the weekend that the Saudis are committed to keeping oil prices at $50 a barrel. This, some say, could be an effort to squeeze Iran's economy--which has favored rising oil prices along with Venezuela. Oil revenues are crucial to the economies of both those countries.
So what would Al-Nami's departure mean for the Saudi's and the price of oil? Jan Stuart is an oil economist with UBS and Roger Diwan is managing director with PFC Energy. Both appeared on "Morning Call."
Diwan says that the Saudis are really doing what they have been doing all along--and that they aren't really changing policy with their interest in a $50-60 a barrel price range. He says they've been working on that for the last two years. And why? Diwan says it's in the Saudi's interest to keep prices at a certain level--in order to avoid a negative impact on the global economy.