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Opec chief Mohammad Barkindo dies at 63

ABUJA (Nigeria), July 6, 2022

Mohammad Barkindo, a Nigerian politician and the secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) died at the age of 63, just days before he was set to finish his tenure. 
 
His career spanned over four decades and included work at Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation and Duke Oil.
 
The head of Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, announced the news in a tweet today (July 6), which was later confirmed by two sources at Opec.
 
“We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo,” a tweet early Wednesday morning from his verified Twitter handle read.
 
“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. Burial arrangements will be announced shortly.”
 
Barkindo, 63, a veteran of the oil industry, was due to step down at the end of this month after six years in the top job at Opec.
 
His tenure as the head of Opec has been marked by global shocks that have battered the industry.
 
During his keynote speech in Abuja hours before his death, Barkindo said the oil and gas industry is "under siege" and still reeling from the enormous investment losses of recent years, reported Reuters.
 
"In a very short timespan, the industry has been hit by two major cycles – the severe market downturn in 2015 and 2016, and the even more far-reaching impact of the Covid-19 pandemic," Barkindo said.
 
His career in the oil industry began in Nigeria in the early 1980s. He served in various capacities at the NNPC and represented Nigeria on Opec's Economic Commission Board.
 
He was acting Opec secretary general in 2006 before returning to the position 10 years later and has led the organisation through a turbulent oil market period including steering it towards greater cooperation with non-Opec oil producers.
 
Diamantino Azevedo, oil minister for Opec member Angola, told Reuters that Barkindo was always striving to seek consensus for the good of the organisation.
 
After leaving Opec, Barkindo was due to join US think tank the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center as a distinguished fellow, it added.



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