It is an open secret that the economy of Saudi Arabia is based on oil ̵
In his Vision 2030 plan outlined in April 2016, the Saudi Crown Prince presented a progressive and futuristic vision of how he believes the kingdom will develop economically, socially and technically.
Since then, he has overseen the diversification of the Saudi economy, created new revenue streams, loosened restrictive practices and made plans for a portion of Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil-producing company, to go public.  Any initial public offering of as much as 5 percent of Aramco is expected by the state's management to raise at least $ 2 trillion (Dh7.34 trillion). Now with the appointment of Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman as new Saudi energy minister this week, it is taking the flotation a significant step forward – with a responsibility on the new minister to maximize value.
He takes the reins of the world's largest oil exporter from Khaled Al Falih and faces the challenge of bringing the Aramco IPO to fruition, maximizing value and ensuring that oil values remain at an optimal price level to strengthen the broader Saudi economy
– Mick O & # 39; Reilly
The King's son is already a veteran oil official known for his work in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).
He takes the reins of the world's largest oil exporter from Khaled Al Falih and faces the challenge of bringing the Aramco IPO to fruition, maximizing value and ensuring that oil values remain at an optimal price level to strengthen the broader Saudi economy.
He is an excellent reseller and has long experience in cutting Opec deals – and that well-found respect among other members can help him implement that momentum.
"He will focus on strengthening the relationship within Opec and with non-Opec producers to strengthen the stability of the international oil market," a Saudi official told Reuters.
Bassam Fattouh, head of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and a regular attendee at Opec meetings said he believed the Prince's appointment represents "a continuation of existing policy."
largest stock exchange listing
"The Prince has been a key form of Saudi oil and Opec policy in many year, "Fattouh said, adding that he has also been a key player in domestic oil policy such as the Kingdom's energy price, renewable and energy efficiency reforms.
Gary Ross, a veteran Opec janitor and founder of Black Gold Investors, said that he first met Prince Abdulaziz in the early 1980s.
"Nobody in the kingdom knows more about bout oil than Prince Abdulaziz," said Ross, who said he believed the new mine the ester will maximize revenue for Saudi Arabia.
"I expect no political change – the goal is to deliver higher prices and the stock market listing for Aramco," said Amrita Sen, co-founder of Energy Aspects think tank, which follows Opec's policies closely.
The IPO of Aramco is expected by 2020-2021, and higher oil price levels will help achieve that $ 2 trillion valuation figure.
Prince Abdulaziz & # 39; s appointment broke with longstanding tradition that saw oil technocrats and non-royal oversee the Kingdom's energy portfolio. Saudi Arabia has had five oil ministers since 1960, and none of them have been royal.
Prince Abdulaziz joined the Ministry of Petroleum in 1987 and worked closely with former Oil Minister Hisham Nazer and later with Ali Al Naimi as his deputy for years.
Crown Prince Mohammad first announced plans for an initial public offering by the company in 2016, saying up to 5 percent of the company would be sold publicly. The government has since delayed the time of the IPO, most recently to conclude an agreement in which Aramco acquired a stake of nearly $ 70 billion in the Saudi petrochemical company Sabic.
Even at the lower end of the valuation expected so far by energy and market analysts, a partial list of Aramco would potentially be the world's largest IPO ever. Crown Prince Mohammad plans to transfer funds from Aramco to the sovereign wealth fund and use the proceeds from investment abroad to support large-scale local development projects that can create millions of jobs for young Saudis.
Handling the Aramco File  The 59-year-old is the fourth son of King Salman. Prince Abdulaziz earned a science degree in industrial administration from King Fahd University, and later, in 1985, earned a master's degree in business administration from there, specializing in the same field.
He began his career as a lecturer in energy studies at the University's School of Petroleum and Minerals. He later served as chief of economic and industrial research before becoming an advisor to the Department of Petroleum in 1987. All that experience will be needed to handle the Aramco file.
Amin Nasser, Aramco's CEO said last week that the company will be ready to list on the Saudi stock exchange, although he declined to say how much of Aramco will be listed on the Tadawul stock exchange or when the company would listing internationally.
Prince Abdulaziz spoke in Abu Dhabi last Monday, saying he would support production cuts as the "Opec plus" group agreed. The cuts have largely been shouldered by Saudi Arabia, and while they drove prices higher, some may not speculate high enough to help IPO valuation.
– With input from agencies
Mick O & # 39; Reilly is Gulf News foreign correspondent based in Europe.