OPEC's Secretary-General Barkindo dies, Nigerian oil official says

Barkindo, who was 63 years old, was due to step down at the end of this month after six years as OPEC's secretary-general.

 Late OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo speaks while addressing delegates at the opening of the Nigeria Oil & Gas 2022 meeting in Abuja, Nigeria. (photo credit: REUTERS/AFOLABI SOTUNDE)
Late OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo speaks while addressing delegates at the opening of the Nigeria Oil & Gas 2022 meeting in Abuja, Nigeria.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AFOLABI SOTUNDE)

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo has died, Mele Kyari, the chief executive of Nigerian National Petroleum Corp said on Wednesday.

Barkindo, who was 63 years old, was due to step down at the end of this month after six years as OPEC's secretary-general. He passed away on Tuesday, but the cause of death was not named in the statement.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General, he worked in the organization as Nigeria's representative since 1986 - first as a member of the delegation of this country, then as an official representative of Nigeria.

"We lost our esteemed Dr. Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo," Kyari said on Twitter, adding that he died late on Tuesday.

A great loss

The death was a "great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community," he added.

 OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo attends a session during Egypt's 5th Petroleum Show ''EGYPS 2022'' at the capital city of Cairo, Egypt. (credit: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLUH DALSH/FILE PHOTO) OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo attends a session during Egypt's 5th Petroleum Show ''EGYPS 2022'' at the capital city of Cairo, Egypt. (credit: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLUH DALSH/FILE PHOTO)

Kyari said Barkindo died hours after meeting Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and giving the main speech at an energy summit in Abuja.

Barkindo said the oil and gas industry is "under siege" due to years of under-investment, adding that the resulting supply shortage could be eased if extra production from Iran and Venezuela was allowed to flow.