OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo dies at age 63

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo passed away at the age of 63, just days before the end of his term, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) announced on Wednesday.

Mohammad Barkindo, a Nigerian politician and the secretary general of oil producing group OPEC, died at the age of 63, according to a tweet on Wednesday from the chairman of NNPC, Mele Kyari. After six years as OPEC’s head, he was scheduled to step down at the end of this month.

“We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo,” a tweet early Wednesday morning from Kyari’s verified Twitter.

Barkindo began his career in the oil industry in the early 1980s, and his resume included work at Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation, Duke Oil, Nigeria’s foreign ministry and energy ministry, as well as OPEC.

Since becoming OPEC secretary-general in 2016, Barkindo has overseen challenging times for the oil producer group, including the Covid-19 outbreak, the development of the OPEC+ alliance, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

After leaving OPEC, Barkindo was expected to take a position as a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center in the US.