Saudi Arabia is preparing for a future without oil by taking its national oil company partially public and reinvesting $2 trillion worth of profits into a public investment fund.
Saudi Deputy Prince and Defense Minister Mohamed bin Salman told Bloomberg that Aramco – the country’s national oil firm – will make less than five percent of it’s shares public as early as next year. “Within 20 years, we [Saudi Arabia] will be an economy or state that doesn’t depend mainly on oil,” the prince predicted in the Friday report.
This plan to diversify the Saudi economy away from fossil fuels is partially a result of the toll that low oil prices have taken on the likes of Nigeria and Venezuela, according to British daily The Guardian.
In 2015, the U.S. imported 11 percent of its oil from Saudi Arabia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The announcement of the mega fund comes just as the Rockefeller family — heirs to the Standard Oil fortune — has publicly announced their intention to get out of the oil business for good.
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