Energy Secretary Rick Perry Meets with Top Saudi Leaders; Photos from Visit Go Viral

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry visited Saudi Arabia over the weekend as part of a tour of three Gulf states, his first trip to the region since becoming the top U.S. energy official.

Secretary Perry’s tour of Saudi Arabia was packed with events and visits with key Saudi officials as well as energy institutions in the Kingdom. The energy secretary and top DOE brass met with King Salman and separately with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Secretary Perry with HRH King Salman.

Secretary Perry with HRH King Salman.

According to posts by the secretary on Twitter, Perry made visits to KAPSARC, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, and also toured Saudi Aramco’s facilities in Dhahran.

Perry also spent a significant amount of time with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih. According to a press release, the two parties discussed “means to enhance the relations between the two countries in the energy fields, including cooperation opportunities in clean energy. In this regard, the Minister and the Secretary signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a framework for mutually beneficial cooperation in the area of clean fossil fuels and carbon management.”

Secretary Perry in the Saudi desert.

Secretary Perry in the Saudi desert.

Photos of Secretary Perry visiting the Saudi desert with Al-Falih went viral on Twitter.

One photo shows the Secretary holding a Falcon next to Al-Falih in the Saudi desert. Perry was also photographed dining on local Saudi cuisine.

A third photo shows Perry sitting atop a sand dune in the Saudi desert, without shoes.

“After a productive and informative visit to the Kingdom, today the United States and our friend Saudi Arabia enter an exciting new phase in our energy partnership, building on our collective success with an eye to the future,” said Secretary Perry.

Secretary Perry with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Secretary Perry with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“This MOU outlines a future alliance not only in supercritical carbon dioxide, but also in a range of clean fossil fuels and carbon management opportunities. Together through the development of clean energy technologies our two countries can lead the world in promoting economic growth and energy production in an environmentally responsible way. I thank Minister Al Falih and the rest of my Saudi hosts for their hospitality and look forward to working together in the months and years to come.”