Long-serving oil minister in Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Zaki Yamani has died in London at the age of was 90.
Yamani would be remembered for his feats in the Saudi Oil ministry before his death. Yamani led the kingdom through the 1973 oil crisis and the nationalisation of its state energy company, and later found himself kidnapped by the assassin Carlos the Jackal, Aljazeera reports.
So far, the cause of Yamani’s death which was announced by Saudi State Television on Tuesday has not been disclosed. It has also been confirmed by a reliable source that his remains would be buried in the holy city of Mecca.
On his exploits before death, Yamani helped Saudi Arabia command a dominating presence in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from its birth and was known for his Western-style business suits and soft-spoken, measured tones.
The kingdom remains a heavyweight in the group even today and its decisions ripple through the oil industry, affecting prices from the barrel down to the gasoline pump.
Author Daniel Yergin wrote in his seminal book on the oil industry, The Prize. Yergin said, “To the global oil industry, to politicians and senior civil servants, to journalists and to the world at large, Yamani became the representative, and indeed the symbol, of the new age of oil,”
“His visage, with his large, limpid, seemingly unblinking brown eyes and his clipped, slightly curved Van Dyke beard, became familiar the planet over.”