OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo dies at 63
Mohammad Barkindo, a Nigerian politician and secretary general of the oil-producing group OPEC, died at the age of 63, just days before he was due to end his term with the organization.
The head of the National Petroleum Corp. of Nigeria, Mele Kyari, announced the news in a tweet on Wednesday, which was later confirmed by OPEC.
“We have lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo,” read a tweet early Wednesday morning from his verified Twitter account.
“He passed away at approximately 11 p.m. yesterday, July 5, 2022. Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, NNPC, our country Nigeria, OPEC and the global energy community. Burial arrangements will be announced. soon.”
The cause of death has not been announced.
Barkindo’s unexpected death came as a shock to members of the oil and gas world, many of whom describe him as an industry giant.
His career spanned more than four decades, including work at the National Petroleum Corp. of Nigeria, Duke Oil, the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Energy, as well as OPEC.
Since taking over the helm of OPEC as secretary-general in 2016, Barkindo has overseen a tumultuous period for the group of oil producers, which has witnessed volatile markets rocked by historic events such as the pandemic. of Covid-19, the creation of the OPEC+ alliance with Russia and other non-OPEC states and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While the organization lost two members, Qatar and Ecuador, during this time, Barkindo is nonetheless credited with guiding unity among group members in an effort to stabilize global oil markets.
Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Aaron M. Sprecher | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Barkindo’s death comes at a time of volatile energy markets, global inflation, growing climate risks and continued fallout from the pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war. Geopolitical strife and sanctions have led to tight oil supplies, pushing prices to multi-year highs amid fears of a global recession.
Barkindo had just received a distinguished fellowship at the Atlantic Council, which was to begin when his OPEC term ended on July 31.
Atlantic Council CEO Frederick Kempe previously described Barkindo as having “unparalleled expertise in oil markets, security and governance” and “a deep understanding of geopolitics in an unstable world”.
In a statement included in the council’s July 1 announcement of the new fellowship, Barkindo said, “I am deeply honored to have been recognized as a distinguished member of the Atlantic Council…I look forward to to contribute to the organization’s work on a plethora of energy-related issues, at a time when the eyes of the world are on the short- and long-term outlook for the energy market.”
— CNBC’s Emma Graham contributed to this article.