JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 6, 2022/ — The African Energy Chamber (AEC) (www.EnergyChamber.org) is deeply saddened by the passing of H.E. Muhammad Sansui Barkindo, oil industry veteran, African hero, and close friend.
H.E. Barkindo passed away at 23:00 on July 5, 2022, in his home country of Nigeria at the age of 63. An immeasurable loss, the AEC would like to extend its deepest condolences to the family and close friends of H.E. Barkindo as they navigate this difficult time.”
While words cannot express the tragedy of this loss, the legacy left behind by H.E. Barkindo will be remembered by the global energy community for years to come. With a career spanning four decades, H.E. Barkindo dedicated his life and career to growing the Nigerian, African and global oil and gas sectors. His journey with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started in 1986 when he served as Nigeria’s delegation to the organization.
Thereafter, his role in the organization grew as he took on other positions including acting OPEC Secretary-General in 2006, representing Nigeria on OPEC’s Board of Governors from 2009 to 2010 and finally appointed as Secretary-General in 2016, re-appointed for a further three years in 2019.
Prior to his roles in OPEC, H.E. Barkindo was a leading figure in the Nigerian energy space, having served as advisor to former Minister of Petroleum Resources and OPEC Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Rilwanu Lukman KBE, Deputy Managing Director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas and Group Managing Director and CEO of the NNPC. H.E. Barkindo had been a leader of Nigeria’s 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 serve three terms as Vice President of the Conference of the Parties – COP13, COP14 and COP15.
However, H.E. Barkindo’s true achievements came in his tenure as Secretary-General of OPEC. Representing the longest serving delegate to OPEC, H.E. Barkindo navigated through and oversaw some of the most turbulent periods in the history of the organization. This started with the creation of the OPEC+ coalition a few months after his appointment as head of the organization, with H.E. Barkindo ushering a new, unprecedented era for the organization and once-unimaginable partnerships with non-member countries including Russia. In less than a year following his appointment, H.E. Barkindo took the organization to greater heights, uniting global energy producers in a feat of diplomacy.
Meanwhile, following his reappointment, H.E. Barkindo led the organization through one of the world’s biggest crises: the COVID-19 pandemic. His second term as Secretary-General saw the leader navigate through production cuts, global oil price fluctuations, and never-before-seen geopolitical tensions that brought significant impacts to producing nations worldwide. In his position, H.E. Barkindo was instrumental, often considered key for easing tensions and strengthening relations across the alliance.
“H.E. Barkindo was our leader, our role model, and our friend. The AEC is devastated at the news of his passing. 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. H.E. Barkindo lived a life of loyalty, friendship, and perseverance. He will be remembered as the man who united producers, helped create OPEC+, fought for alleviating energy poverty and strengthened Africa’s position as a global energy supplier. He will be greatly missed,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
As we mourn the passing of H.E. Barkindo, the AEC urges every energy stakeholder to remember what our OPEC Secretary-General fought for: the development of Africa and the world for the benefit of future generations.