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OPEC’s secretary general Mohammad Barkindo dies aged 63

OPEC’s secretary general Mohammad Barkindo has died unexpectedly aged 63.

Resul Rehimov/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

  • OPEC’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo died late Tuesday, according to a Nigerian oil official.
  • Barkindo led the oil producers’ group from 2016 and pioneered the OPEC+ alliance with Russia and other non-members.
  • The Nigerian politician died unexpectedly just weeks before he was set to end his tenure as OPEC head.

OPEC’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo, a Nigerian politician who served as the head of the oil producers’ group from 2016, has died aged 63.

Barkindo died unexpectedly at around 11 p.m. Tuesday, the CEO of Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation said on Twitter.

“We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo,” Mele Kyari tweeted Wednesday. “Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community.”

The head of OPEC — the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — died just a few weeks before his six-year term at the helm of the Vienna-based group was due to end, and just hours after giving a speech at a summit in Abuja. He had returned to his home country of Nigeria to prepare for the next stage in his career, Bloomberg reported.

Barkindo was the main architect of the 2016 OPEC+ alliance, which brought the group’s members together with outside major oil producers such as Russia. He also led the organization through fallouts from the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and surging volatility in the commodities market.

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