The veteran official of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation Haitham Al Ghais was named as the new OPEC Secretary-General, media agencies reported on Wednesday.
The announcement came after the sudden death of the organization’s chief Muhammad Barkindo early this morning, a month before ending his reign in the position.
Media outlets highlighted that in the latest meeting of OPEC board before the death of Barkindo, the board appointed Al Ghais to serve as the new Secretary-General of the petroleum production organization, starting from August 2022.
However, the sudden death of Barkindo caused the early appointment of the new chief.
Mohammad Barkindo died at the age of 63, Al CNBC reported on Wednesday.
The news was announced by the chief of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Mele Kyari on Twitter, and it was confirmed by two OPEC sources.
“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.”
The death of Barkindo’s came as surprise to all the participated parties in the scene of oil and gas as he played a giant role in the world of petroleum.
His career in the scene of oil spanned over 40 years as he served at Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation, Duke Oil, in addition, he held the responsibility of the Nigerian Foreign and Entergy ministries, before holding the chair position of OPEC.
Since holding the position in 2016, Barkindo reign experienced several major shifts in the structure of the oil production group especially during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the formation of the OPEC+ with Russia, other non-OPEC countries, and the war in Ukraine.
Hours before his death, the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari met the secretary-general at the State House.