Al-Ghais appointed next OPEC Sec. Gen.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has appointed Mr Haitham Al-Ghais as the organisation’s Secretary General effective Aug. 1.

OPEC made the appointment at a Special Meeting on Monday held via video conference, which was chaired by president Jean-Richard Itoua, Congo’s Minister of Hydrocarbons and Head of its Delegation.

Al-Ghais, a veteran of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), takes over from Mr Mohammad Barkindo, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

OPEC said in a statement on its website that Al-Ghais appointment was in accordance with Article 28 of the OPEC Statute and in application of the procedure decided at the 182nd Meeting of the Conference on Dec. 1, 2021.

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The statement said the appointment effective Aug. 1, was for a period of three years.

“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,” it said.

The statement said the conference also expressed its appreciation to Barkindo for his leadership during his two-term tenure as Secretary General, beginning on Aug. 1, 2016 and ending July 31.

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Mr Haitham Al-Ghais, incoming OPEC Secretary General

It said: “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.

“This was 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.”

The statement noted that 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.

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“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,” it said. (NAN)

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