OPEC secretary-general dies, just weeks shy of departure

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo, an oil industry veteran who steered the group through the creation of the OPEC+ alliance, has died in his native Nigeria. He was 63, Bloomberg reports.

Barkindo was in the final weeks of his six-year tenure as the top diplomat at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, where he headed its Vienna-based secretariat. He had returned to Abuja in preparation for a post-OPEC career.

His death came as a surprise to industry insiders. His second term as head of OPEC was set to end in three weeks on July 31. He’d held the post for six years since 2016.

Barkindo’s death was first confirmed in a tweet by the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Mele Kyari.

OPEC’s statement said Barkindo’s last words to friends were that he was happy to have concluded his tenure as secretary-general, he’d served the best he could and that he was proud of those who’d served with him.

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