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Opec secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo has died, officials say

The cause of the 63-year-old’s death is not yet known.

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Mohammad Barkindo (Houston Chronicle via AP)

Mohammad Barkindo (Houston Chronicle via AP)

Mohammad Barkindo (Houston Chronicle via AP)

The secretary-general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has died, Nigerian authorities said.

Mohammad Barkindo, 63, died late on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s petroleum ministry told The Associated Press.

The cause of death is not immediately known.

Mele Kyari, managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, tweeted the news of Mr Barkindo’s death which he described as “a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the Opec and the global energy community”.

Mr Barkindo, a Nigerian, led the crude oil bloc since August 2016, seeing it through some of its most turbulent times including during the pandemic when the oil price was hit with declining demand.

He was wrapping up his tenure at Opec when he died.

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Before leading the oil bloc, Mr Barkindo served led the Nigerian petroleum corporation and as the deputy managing director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, a joint venture between NNPC and multinational oil giants Shell, Total and Eni.

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Mr Barkindo died late on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s petroleum ministry said (AP)

Mr Barkindo died late on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s petroleum ministry said (AP)

AP/PA Images

Mr Barkindo died late on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s petroleum ministry said (AP)

The 13 Opec member-states have 1.24 billion proven crude oil reserves among them, or 80% of the world’s share.

Of the world’s total crude oil, Opec producers’ share of that is just under 38%. Opec member-states, however, contributed to around 48% of all world crude oil exports last year.

Mr Barkindo’s legacy, however, might be most tied to his final years overseeing Opec as the group entered into an agreement known as Opec+ with major non-Opec producer, Russia.

That agreement, which is set to expire this year, helped to steady the volatile oil market during the pandemic, though it has come under increased scrutiny and criticism amid current high oil prices and as the US and other Western nations try to squeeze Russia’s economy over the war in Ukraine.

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Mr Barkindo speaks at a conference during the 24th Iran Oil Show in Tehran, Iran in 2019 (AP)

Mr Barkindo speaks at a conference during the 24th Iran Oil Show in Tehran, Iran in 2019 (AP)

AP/PA Images

Mr Barkindo speaks at a conference during the 24th Iran Oil Show in Tehran, Iran in 2019 (AP)

Brent crude has traded at more than 100 dollars a barrel.

Mr Barkindo began his career with the Nigerian Mining Corporation in 1982 before holding multiple roles over more than two decades at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Born in Yola, Nigeria, he attended undergraduate university in Nigeria before earning a post-graduate degree in petroleum economics from Oxford University in the UK and an MBA from Washington University in the US.

In March, Mr Barkindo was named a distinguished follow of the Atlantic Council, which holds an annual global energy forum where he was a keynote speaker.


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