Haitham Al-Ghais, OPEC secretary general designate
Haitham Al-Ghais, OPEC Sec-Gen Designate

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has appointed Kuwaiti’s Haitham Al-Ghais as its next Secretary-General.

OPEC in a statement issued after its special video conference held yesterday, said the appointment takes effect on August 1st, and will last for three years.

“In accordance with Article 28 of the OPEC Statute and in the application of the procedure decided at the 182nd Meeting of the Conference on 1 December 2021, the Conference decided by acclamation to appoint Mr Haitham Al-Ghais of Kuwait as Secretary-General of the Organization, with effect from 1 August 2022, for a period of three years,” the statement said.

“Mr 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.”

Participants in the OPEC meeting expressed their appreciation to Nigeria’s Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo for his leadership as OPEC Secretary-General during his two-term tenure between August 1, 2016, and July 31, 2022.

Mr Barkindo 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.

“A long-serving veteran of Nigeria’s oil industry and OPEC, Mr Barkindo 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,” the statement continued.

“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.

“Before being appointed Secretary-General, Mr Barkindo held a number of key roles at OPEC between 1986 and 2010, including as Acting Secretary-General in 2006.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Al-Ghais said that global oil demand should return to its pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, Al Arabiya news channel reported.

He also told a Saudi-owned TV channel that the OPEC+ alliance, which gathers OPEC and other crude producers, is important for the stability and balance of oil markets

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