OPEC Appoints New Secretary General

OPEC Appoints New Secretary General
Al-Ghais' new role will be effective from August 1 for a period of three years.

Haitham Al-Ghais was appointed the new secretary general of OPEC at a special meeting held via videoconference on January 3, the organization has revealed.

Al-Ghais’ new role will be effective from August 1 for a period of three years. He replaces Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, who began serving as the OPEC secretary general from August 1, 2016. Barkindo will leave his role on July 31.

The incoming secretary general is a veteran of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and was Kuwait’s OPEC governor from 2017 to June 2021, OPEC highlighted. He currently serves as the deputy managing director for international marketing at KPC. Al-Ghais 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.

OPEC noted that its outgoing secretary general 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 stabilize the global oil market since the unprecedented market downturn related to the Covid-19 pandemic, and providing a platform for recovery,” OPEC said in an organization statement.

Before being appointed secretary general, Barkindo held a number of roles at OPEC between 1986 and 2010, including acting secretary general in 2006.

Also on January 3, the JTC of the DoC held its 58th meeting via videoconference to review the conditions of the global oil market. During the meeting, Barkindo emphasized the need to “remain highly nimble and adaptable to the constantly changing situation”. The meeting took place in advance of the 36th meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) and the 24th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting.

The DoC between OPEC member countries and 10 non-OPEC oil-producing countries turned five on December 10, 2021, OPEC highlighted last month. In response to the oil market contraction caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the DoC’s 23 countries adopted the largest and longest voluntary oil production adjustment in the history of OPEC and the oil industry, OPEC pointed out.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com


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