Nigerian oil technocrat and former NNPC boss, Mohammed Barkindo has emerged as front-runner to emerge as the secretary-general of OPEC.
Barkindo is regarded as a compromise candidate to lead OPEC following rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the position.
Mohammed Barkindo led the NNPC from 2009 to 2010 and served as acting secretary-general of OPEC in 2006
Barkindo has been a key player in the Nigerian oil industry for while, and got to the pinnacle of his career when he was appointed the NNPC MD on Monday, January 12, 2009.
OPEC has been looking for a replacement for its immediate past secretary-general, Libya’s Abdullah al-Badri, who finished serving his full terms last year July.
Although, Badri’s tenure might still be extended for another six months as the horse trading in OPEC continues, Barkindo’s appointment is said to be by no means certain.
OPEC oil ministers meet tomorrow, June 2 in Vienna. The consensus of all members is required for the appointment of a new secretary-general.
Appointed by Late President Umaru Yar’adua, Barkindo led the NNPC from 2009 to 2010 and served as acting secretary-general of OPEC in 2006. He was fired by former president Goodluck Jonathan.
His career in the NNPC spanned more than 23 years. He also served on OPEC’s economic commission and held various high-ranking positions during his career.
He was deputy managing director of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company, a joint venture between NNPC, Shell Gas BV, Total and Eni.
He was also head of NNPC’s London office, managing director of NNPC’s oil and gas trading division, and an NNPC group executive director.
“He’s a reasonably safe pair of hands and good for a more administrative role like secretary-general. He also knows the ropes at OPEC from when he was Lukman’s right-hand man,” a senior industry source in Nigeria told Reuters.
“Don’t expect any fireworks, either positive or negative,” the industry source added
Meanwhile, there was good news in the oil industry recently as the price of oil went above $50 a barrel for the first time in 2016.