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Saudi Arabia's Oil Chief Prepares for a World After Fossil Fuels

  • Nation's sun, sand make it ideal for renewables, minister says
  • Consumers will still need crude for at least another 50 years
Ali al-Naimi.

Ali al-Naimi.

Photographer: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg

Even as it pumps near-record quantities of oil, Saudi Arabia is getting ready for a time when the world will no longer need its biggest export.

The world’s largest crude exporter is focusing on renewable-energy sources such as solar power in preparation for a post-oil global economy, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said at a conference in Berlin on Thursday. Still, he doesn’t expect that era to dawn any time soon, estimating that consumers will still be burning fossil fuels for at least another 50 years.