• Article // Mar 12, 2015
    Roby Barrett
    The death of King Abdullah in late January 2015 brought a seamless transition of power in Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Salman acceded to the throne and Prince Muqrin became crown prince, while Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, minister of the interior, became second deputy prime minister and the first grandson of Ibn Saud in line for the throne. Despite speculation to contrary, the smooth transition was strong evidence of a preexisting agreement that included the late king, Salman, and other senior princes. The speed with which King Salman confirmed top-level positions and put his own set of ministers and advisors in place also appears to contradict earlier conjecture that age and poor health would relegate him to a transitional role.
  • In 2009, the largest share of oil production was in the Middle East (24 million barrels daily, or 31% of global production). Middle Eastern countries also possess about 40% of the world's natural gas reserves.