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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE – OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo speaks during the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum at the Dubai Expo 2020, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on March 28, 2022. Barkindo died late Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s petroleum ministry told The Associated Press on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

ABUJA – The Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has died, Nigerian authorities announced Wednesday.

Mohammad Barkindo, 63, died late Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s petroleum ministry told The Associated Press. The reason for his death was not immediately known.

Mele Kyari, Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, tweeted the news of Barkindo’s death which he described as “a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community.”

Barkindo, a Nigerian, led the crude oil bloc since August 2016, seeing it through some of its most turbulent times including during the pandemic when the oil price was hit with declining demand.

He was wrapping up his tenure at OPEC when he died. Before leading the oil bloc, Barkindo served led the Nigerian petroleum corporation and as the Deputy Managing Director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, a joint venture between NNPC and multinational oil giants Shell, Total and Eni.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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