The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has named Kuwaiti diplomat, Haitham Al-Ghais, as its next secretary general.
He was originally set to succeed Mohammed Barkindo, who took office in 2016 and served two terms on August 1.
But the sudden death of the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd propelled his successor to center stage sooner than expected.
Bakindo died on July 5, hours after being honored by President Muhammadu Buhari for his exemplary contributions to OPEC and the country’s oil industry.
Al-Ghais is a Kuwaiti oil executive who served as OPEC governor from 2017 to June 2021.
“This trust that people have placed in me, that countries, governments have placed in me, is something that is really, really important to me,” he told Energy Intelligence in January in his first public statement. after his election.
READ ALSO: OPEC Sec-Gen Barkindo Dies Hours After Being Hosted By Buhari At Aso Rock
For Al-Ghais, the next OPEC meeting on August 3 will be crucial for some of the biggest oil producers as they are expected to define a new production policy which would start in September.
Well aware of the daunting task ahead, market watchers said Al-Ghais is keen to maintain unity within the group, building on the foundations Barkindo helped create during his two terms.
“Barkindo has led the organization through extremely turbulent times for the global oil market, and his distinguished role and valuable contributions, along with our organization’s long history of dialogue and cooperation, puts us in a strong position to continue to support stability and balance in the world oil market,” Al-Ghais said this week in a tweet from the OPEC Secretariat.
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