An oil tanker is being loaded at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018. Picture taken May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
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Saudi Arabia's oil chief faces toughest OPEC testSince he became Saudi Arabia's energy minister two years ago, Khalid al-Falih has had a good run: He persuaded a fractious OPEC to cut oil production, convinced Russia to join the cartel in curbing output, and then saw Brent crude rise nearly 75 percent to $80 a barrel. But his toughest test comes this week when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries holds what's likely to be its most difficult meeting in years. When Falih was appointed energy minister in May 2016, replacing the veteran Ali al-Naimi after almost 25 years in the job, Saudi Arabia had little grip on the market: U.S. shale production had stolen market share and OPEC's policy response was essentially every man for himself.Falih, a methodical technocrat who rarely sleeps more than four hours each night, rolled up his sleeves.Two days later, Novak visited Saudi Arabia for a working meeting with Falih.Falih, who likes to start the day at around 5 a.m. after exercising on a treadmill, is an oil man by birth, education and work.
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