Saudi former oil minister Yamani dies

Protagonist of '73 oil crisis, which caused 'austerity' in Italy

23 February, 16:43

    (ANSA) - ROMA, 23 FEB - The former oil minister of Saudi Arabia Ahmed Zaki Yamani, a key player in the first oil shock of 1973, has died at age 90.

    The news was given on state television.

    The oil ministry is of key importance in the wealthy Gulf kingdom, the top crude oil exporter in the world.

    "Former oil minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani has died in London at age 90," government broadcaster El-Ekhbariya reported without specifying the cause of death.

    He will be buried in the holy city of Mecca near the Red Sea, where he was born in 1930.

    Having degrees at the University of Cairo, New York University, and Harvard, he was minister of oil from 1962 to 1986 and was the first Saudi representative at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

    In 1973, he was at the origin of the first oil crisis, caused by an OPEC embargo against Israeli allies amid the Yom Kippur war.

    Crude oil prices rose sharply within a few months, leading to severe crises in the economies of developed countries.

    In Italy it is remembered especially for a period of 'austerity', when maximum consumption levels were sharply reduced and cars were banned from circulating on weekends and holidays.

    Yamani also played a crucial role in the nationalization of oil exploitation through Saudi Arabia's purchase of the energy giant Aramco. (ANSA).

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