Nigerian Balkind, who led OPEC during a turbulent era, died at the age of 63


Abuja — The boss of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who died Mohammed Barkindo, the secretary-general of OPEC, announced Wednesday.

Balkind, 63, a veteran of the oil industry, was scheduled to resign at the end of this month after taking the top position at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for six years.

“We have lost the respected Dr. Muhammad Sanushi Balkind,” NNPC CEO Mele Carri wrote on Twitter.

Death is “a huge loss to his immediate family, NNPC, our country Nigeria, OPEC, and the global energy community,” Carri added.

Carakind died hours after meeting with Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari and giving his main speech at the Energy Summit in Abuja.

His tenure as OPEC’s head is characterized by a global impact that has hit the industry.

In a keynote speech in Abuja hours before his death, Balkind said the oil and gas industry was “siege” and still upset by the huge investment losses of recent years.

“In a very short period of time, the industry was hit by two major cycles: the severe market downturn in 2015 and 2016 and the more widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Balkind. ..

Balkind’s career in the oil industry began in Nigeria in the early 1980s. He has held various positions at NNPC and represented Nigeria on the OPEC Economic Committee.

After serving as OPEC Secretary-General in 2006, he returned to that position 10 years later, leading the organization throughout the turbulent oil market period, leading the organization towards greater cooperation with non-OPEC oil producers. rice field.

“It was a lifetime honor to serve as OPEC Secretary-General. Over the last six years, we have witnessed challenging and historic moments: the importance of cooperation and teamwork. I have emphasized it many times, “Balkind said in a keynote speech on Tuesday.

OPEC member Angola’s oil minister, Diamantino Azebed, told Reuters that Balkind is constantly striving to seek consensus for the benefit of the organization.

After leaving OPEC, Balkind was scheduled to join the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, a US think tank, as a prominent fellow, the Council recently announced.

“This tragedy is a shock to the OPEC family. We express our sadness and deep appreciation for the more than 40 years of selfless service that Mohammed Sanushi Balkind has provided to OPEC. His dedication and leadership are It will inspire OPEC over the years to come, “the OPEC Secretariat said in a tweet.

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

Reuters

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