OPEC gets new Kuwaiti secretary general

OPEC gets new Kuwaiti secretary general

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has appointed Kuwaiti candidate, Haitham Al-Ghais as new Secretary-General. Al-Ghais will take over from Mohammed Barkindo, a Nigerian who would be completing his two term tenure in July 2022, Barkindo’s reign began on August 1, 2016.

Al-Ghais was picked at a special meeting of the Conference of OPEC via videoconference of which a statement from OPEC read, “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 Mr Haitham Al-Ghais of Kuwait as Secretary-General of the Organisation, with effect from 1 August 2022, for a period of three years.

“OPEC Governor, who has been in office from 2017 to June 2021, is serving as Deputy Managing Director for International Marketing at KPC. He heads 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 also expressed appreciation to Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo for his leadership during his two-term tenure as secretary-general, noting that, “A long-serving veteran of Nigeria’s oil industry and OPEC, Mr 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. 

These efforts are widely credited with helping to stabilise 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, Mr 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”.

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