The Secretary-General of the OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil cartel, Nigeria’s Mohammad Barkindo, died unexpectedly at the age of 63 on Tuesday in the country.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNCP) announced the news on Wednesday. NNPC’s chief executive Mele Kyari wrote on Twitter, “We lost our esteemed Dr (Mohammad) Sanusi Barkindo. He died at about 11:00 pm yesterday 5th July 2022. A great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community.” The chief did not provide further details about Barkindo’s death.
A few hours earlier, he met Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. He also gave a speech at the energy summit. He reportedly also said that allowing trade in oil from Iran and Venezuela could help the country. Buhari also praised Barkindo’s achievements at OPEC. However, Barkindo died hours after the meeting.
Barkindo’s career in the oil industry began in Nigeria in the early 1980s. He worked with the NNPC and represented Nigeria on OPEC’s Economic Commission Board. He also served as acting OPEC secretary-general in 2006. He was again selected as the OPEC secretary-general in 2016.
Barkindo had headed OPEC since 2016 and was due to step down at the end of this month. He was scheduled to be replaced by Kuwait’s Haitham Al-Ghais. Under Barkindo’s leadership, OPEC forged ties with 10 other oil-producing countries. He also made strategies to tame global oil prices.
He also headed Nigeria’s technical delegation to United Nations climate negotiations. He was also a great Nigerian politician. He was born on 20 April 1959.
According to media reports, after leaving OPEC, he was due to join the United States think tank, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, as a distinguished fellow.