Oil & Gas Middle East
OPEC SECRETARY GENERAL MOHAMMAD SANUSI BARKINDO DIES AT 63
Barkindo was instrumental in forming OPEC+, an alliance between OPEC members and Russia
OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo passed away at 63 on 5 July in his home country, Nigeria. Mele Kyari, the head of Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation, announced the news on Wednesday, which was also confirmed by two sources at OPEC.
“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. Burial arrangements will be announced shortly,” said Kyari.
Barkindo’s achievements have spanned 40 years. He worked at Nigeria’s foreign ministry and energy ministry, and at Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation.
THE SECRETARY GENERAL’S ACHIEVEMENTS
He held several positions at OPEC including acting as the Nigerian delegate to the OPEC ministerial conferences from 1986 until 2010. From 1993 to 2008, Barkindo served as Nigeria’s national representative on OPEC’S economic commission board.
Barkindo died just hours after meeting with Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari at the opening ceremony of the 21st edition of Nigeria’s oil and gas conference and exhibition – and weeks before finishing his six-year tenure as OPEC’S secretary general.
In 2016, Barkindo became OPEC’S secretary general. He played a key role in forming the declaration of cooperation at the end of 2016, which brought Russia in as an OPEC ally and ultimately created what is now known as OPEC+. OPEC noted in a press release that Barkindo was instrumental in setting up the charter of cooperation.
In his tenure at OPEC, Barkindo navigated challenging times for the oil and gas sector, working to balance supply and demand as well as oil prices throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
OPEC said in a statement: “He was the much-loved leader of the OPEC Secretariat and his passing is a profound loss to the entire OPEC Family, the oil industry and the international community.”
Haitham Al-ghais from Kuwait was already due to take over as secretarygeneral in August.
Barkindo was often hailed as a visionary leader by his peers, and his death has seen an outpouring of condolences from his close business partners, friends, peers, and the wider oil and gas industry including energy journalists who worked with him.