Home NewsCommodities News Nigeria’s Barkindo, OPEC leader and oil diplomat, dies at 63 By Reuters

Nigeria’s Barkindo, OPEC leader and oil diplomat, dies at 63 By Reuters

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Nigeria’s Barkindo, OPEC leader and oil diplomat, dies at 63 By Reuters

© Reuters. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo addresses delegates at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria, on July 5, 2022. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

MacDonald Dzirutwe

ABUJA (Reuters) – Outgoing OPEC secretary general Mohammad Barkindo, who played a key role in forming the broader OPEC+ group of oil producers to help the industry weather a global shock, has died at the age of 63.

The Nigerian oil industry veteran will step down at the end of this month after six years at the top of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Barkindo died Tuesday night, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) boss Mele Kyari wrote on Twitter (NYSE: ), calling his death a “great loss.”

A few hours ago, Barkindo met Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and spoke at the Abuja Energy Summit.

Barkindo will be buried in his hometown of Yola at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Kyari said.

Key OPEC decisions are made by ministers from Saudi Arabia and other top producers, but the secretary-general represents the group on the world stage and plays an important diplomatic role in helping ministers reach consensus.

Haitham al-Ghais of Kuwait is scheduled to take over the job on 1 August.

The OPEC Secretariat tweeted its “sad and deep gratitude to Barkindo for over 40 years of selfless service.”

Barkindo’s career in the oil industry began in Nigeria in the early 1980s. He has held various positions at the NNPC and represented Nigeria on the OPEC Economic Council Committee (a technical panel).

He served as OPEC’s acting secretary general in 2006, returning to the role 10 years later, when he helped found OPEC+, where OPEC members join forces with Russia and other non-members to cooperate on oil supply.

OPEC+ helped eliminate a supply glut that had built up between 2014 and 2016 and organized record production cuts in 2020 as the pandemic hit demand.

“He will be remembered as an important figure in the history of global energy governance,” said Joseph McMonigger, secretary general of the International Energy Forum.

“He was an outstanding diplomat who made outstanding contributions to the stability of global energy markets.”

In a statement, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak praised Barkindo as one of the initiators of OPEC+ and an advocate of constructive dialogue with Moscow.

Nowak said Barkindo “has made a significant contribution to the formation of the consolidated position of participating countries” that “have been successful in balancing the global oil market for many years”.

The industry is making a comeback

In a keynote speech in Abuja hours before his death, Barkindo said the oil and gas industry was “under siege” and was reeling from massive investment losses in recent years.

He believes that while it is necessary to reduce emissions, oil is still essential, and he recently conveyed to the EU OPEC’s concerns about the impact of Russia’s oil ban on consumers.

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as two-term OPEC secretary general. Over the past six years, we have witnessed challenging and historic times, and this time and again, the importance of cooperation and teamwork has been underscored,” Barkindo said in a statement. his speech.

Diamantino Azevedo, the oil minister of OPEC member Angola, said in a statement that Barkindo had been seeking consensus on the group’s interests.

The Council recently announced that, after leaving OPEC, Barkindo will join the Atlantic Council Center for Global Energy, a U.S. think tank, as a Distinguished Fellow.

Al-Ghais said shortly after being named Barkindo’s successor that his priority was to maintain the OPEC+ deal because it was in the broader interest of the oil industry.

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