The Secretary of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammad Barkindo died at the age of 63 in Abuja, Nigeria on Tuesday. Since his second and final term was due to expire on July 31, OPEC ministers have already named his replacement, Kuwaiti Haitham al-Ghais.
"We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo. He died at about 11pm yesterday 5th July 2022. Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community," said Mele Kyari, the director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
"OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, passed away yesterday... He was the much-loved leader of the OPEC Secretariat and his passing of him is a profound loss to the entire OPEC Family, the oil industry and the international community," OPEC tweeted.
Born in 1959 in the Nigerian town of Yola, Barkindo graduated in Political Science from the Ahmadu Bello University of Zaria (Nigeria) in 1981 and in Petroleum Economics from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) in 1988.
After holding various positions in the Nigerian government, he began working for the NNCP in 1992, serving as its director from 2009 to 2010. At the same time, he was the governor of Nigeria before OPEC and interim secretary of this organization in 2006. Barkindo became secretary general of OPEC on August 1, 2016.
"Barkindo led the crude oil bloc through some of its most turbulent times in recent memory, including during the COVID-19 pandemic when oil prices plummeted due to declining demand," AP recalled.
"His role representing OPEC took on even greater significance in past years amid a global effort to tackle climate change. Barkindo used his platform to advocate in favor of a bigger role for the energy industry in conversations about the energy transition," it added.