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Former Saudi oil minister dies

September 10, 1997

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Abdullah ibn Hamoud al-Tariki, Saudi Arabia’s first oil minister and a founder of OPEC, has died at age 80.

Al-Tariki died Sunday in Cairo of a heart attack, the Saudi Embassy said Wednesday. He had lived in Cairo for more than a decade.

Born in the Saudi village of Zilfi, he received his early education in Kuwait and Cairo. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in petroleum engineering in the 1940s, he returned to his homeland and went to work in the Finance Ministry.

Al-Tariki monitored Aramco pumping and payments in the eastern city of Dhahran, and criticized the Americans’ profit-sharing payments to the Saudis. He contended his country was getting less than its fair share.

Al-Tariki was one of the founders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in September 1960 and, three months later, became the kingdom’s first minister of petroleum. He lost that post in 1962 after disagreements with the king over the kingdom’s oil strategies and its pro-Western policies.

Al-Tariki spent his later years as an oil consultant and an activist in Arab affairs. His body was taken to Saudi Arabia for burial.

He is survived by at least one son.