Falih succeeded in calming OPEC member countries whose economies have been battered by a two-year fall in oil prices.
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Kingdom's new minister tries to unify a cartel struggling to agree on oil output targetsWhen Khalid al-Falih was brought in as the Saudi health minister last year, the technocrat was charged with rejuvenating the kingdom's inefficient healthcare sector, which had gone off course. Now, in his role as energy minister, Mr Falih is bringing his skills to Opec, a once mighty organisation that had been written off as dead by many industry observers.Although it is limited in what it can do, analysts say, it suggests Saudi Arabia has not entirely abandoned its role as the market's guiding hand.The new minister had to play the diplomat and show the kingdom was still engaged with Opec.Rather than focus on the failure to agree, Mr Falih drew attention to the ongoing market recovery. He also reassured Opec's peers that the kingdom would not flood the market, easing fears Saudi Arabia aimed to increase its output further. Just as price still matters for Saudi Arabia, Mr Falih said Opec's role was also vital.
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