JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Hisam Nazer, the acting Saudi oil minister since Ahmed Zaki Yamani was dismissed in October, has been formally appointed to the post, the official Saudi Press Agency reported Wednesday.
It said King Fahd issued a decree appointing Nazer as minister of petroleum and mineral resources and acting planning minister.
King Fahd, speaking to university students in the city of Jubail, said Saudi Arabia had been badly hit by depressed oil prices and would stand firm on the Geneva OPEC agreement restricting output. "The kingdom saw a serious situation in the past two years because of the fall of oil prices," the king was quoted.
Nazer, 54, had been the Saudi planning minister since 1975. He took over from Yamani on Oct. 29. Wednesday's statement suggested that a permanent planning minister would be named later.
Nazer, who was educated at UCLA and still owns a home in Beverly Hills, led the Saudi team at the recent OPEC meeting in Geneva, where delegates said he defended King Fahd's prestige by pushing through output cuts to help boost world oil prices.