The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has appointed former Kuwait’s OPEC Governor, Haitham Al-Ghais as the new Secretary-General, bringing an end to Nigeria’s Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo’s five-year role at the oil cartel.
The oil cartel said in a statement that Al-Ghais was selected at a special meeting of the Conference of OPEC held via videoconference on Monday.
Al-Ghais will replace Barkindo who came into office in August 2016 when his second term as OPEC secretary-general ends July 2022.
“In accordance with Article 28 of the OPEC Statute and in the application of the procedure decided at the 182nd Meeting of the Conference on 1 December 2021, the Conference decided by acclamation to appoint Haitham Al-Ghais of Kuwait as Secretary-General of the Organization, with effect from 1 August 2022, for a period of three years,” the statement reads.
“Al-Ghais, a veteran of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and Kuwait’s OPEC Governor from 2017 to June 2021, currently serves as Deputy Managing Director for International Marketing at KPC.
“He Chaired the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) in 2017 and subsequently served as a Member of the JTC until June 2021.”
The Conference of OPEC expressed appreciation to the Nigerian for his leadership during his two-term tenure as secretary-general from August 1, 2016 — to end by July 31, 2022.
“A long-serving veteran of Nigeria’s oil industry and OPEC, Barkindo has been instrumental in expanding OPEC’s historical efforts to support sustainable oil market stability through enhanced dialogue and cooperation with many energy stakeholders, including the landmark DoC since its inception in December 2016,” the statement adds.
“These efforts are widely credited with helping to stabilize the global oil market since the unprecedented market downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing a platform for recovery.
“Before being appointed Secretary-General, Barkindo held a number of key roles at OPEC between 1986 and 2010, including as Acting Secretary-General in 2006.
“He is known internationally for helping to produce the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol as the leader of Nigeria’s technical delegation to the UN negotiations in 1991.
“He has remained a key contributor to the UNFCCC process, including most recently at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Glasgow in October and November 2021.”
The ex-scribe, Barkindo said he believes the global oil market is in very capable hands with the appointment.
“From my time working collaboratively with you as Kuwait’s OPEC Governor, I know you have a great understanding of the organs and internal workings of the organisation,” he noted in his letter.