The African Energy Chamber (AEC) (www.EnergyChamber.org) is deeply saddened by the passing of HE Muhammad Sansui Barkindo, oil industry veteran, African hero and close friend. HE Barkindo passed away at 11:00 p.m. on July 5, 2022 in his home country of Nigeria at the age of 63. An immeasurable loss, the ACS wishes to express its deepest condolences to the family and close friends of HE Barkindo as they navigate this difficult time."
While words cannot express the tragedy of this loss, HE Barkindo's legacy will be remembered by the global energy community for years to come. With a career spanning four decades, HE Barkindo dedicated his life and career to growing the oil and gas sectors in Nigeria, Africa and the world. His journey with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began in 1986, where he served as Nigeria's delegation to the organization. Thereafter, his role in the organization grew as he took on other positions, including acting Secretary General of OPEC in 2006, represented Nigeria on the OPEC Board of Governors from 2009 to 2010, and was eventually appointed Secretary General in 2016, re-elected for three more years. in 2019.
Prior to his OPEC roles, HE Barkindo was a leading figure in the Nigerian energy space, having served as an advisor to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources and OPEC Secretary General, HE Dr. Rilwanu Lukman KBE, Deputy Managing Director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas and Group General Manager and CEO of the NNPC. HE Barkindo had been the leader of the Nigerian technical delegation to the UN climate change negotiations since 1991, served as chair of the Group of 77 and China at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and was elected to fulfill three terms as vice-president of the Conference of the Parties – COP13, COP14 and COP15.
However, HE Barkindo's real achievements came in his tenure as Secretary General of OPEC. Representing OPEC's longest serving delegate, HE Barkindo navigated and oversaw some of the most turbulent periods in the organization's history. This began with the creation of the OPEC+ coalition a few months after his appointment as head of the organization, with HE Barkindo ushering in an unprecedented new era for the organization and once-unimaginable partnerships with non-member countries. , including Russia. In less than a year after his appointment, HE Barkindo took the organization to greater heights, uniting global energy producers in a diplomatic feat.
Meanwhile, following his re-election, HE Barkindo led the organization through one of the world's greatest crises: the COVID-19 pandemic. In his second term as Secretary-General, the leader experienced never-before-seen production cuts, fluctuations in world oil prices, and geopolitical tensions that had significant impacts on oil-producing nations around the world. In his role, HE Barkindo was instrumental, often seen as key to easing tensions and strengthening relationships across the alliance.
“HE Barkindo was our leader, our role model and our friend. The AEC is devastated by the news of his death. In Africa, he will always be remembered as a patriot, an instrumental figure who fought for the continent's right to develop our oil and gas. HE Barkindo lived a life of loyalty, friendship and perseverance. He will be remembered as the man who brought producers together, helped create OPEC+, fought to alleviate energy poverty and strengthened Africa's position as a global energy provider. He will be greatly missed,” said NJ Ayuk, CEO of AEC.
As we mourn the passing of HE Barkindo, the ACS urges all energy stakeholders to remember what our OPEC Secretary General fought for: the development of Africa and the world for the benefit of future generations.