OPEC's secretary general Barkindo dies

STORY: The secretary general of oil producers group OPEC, Mohammad Barkindo, has died aged 63.

Just weeks before he had been due to step down following six years in the top job at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The announcement was made by CEO of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Mele Kyari on Wednesday (July 6).

Kyari said Barkindo died hours after meeting Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and giving the main speech at an energy summit in Abuja on Tuesday (July 5).

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Kyari said the death was a loss to Barkindo's "immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community."

Nigerian Barkindo's career in the oil industry began in the early 1980s. He served in various capacities at the NNPC and represented Nigeria on OPEC's Economic Commission Board.

At OPEC he led the organization through a turbulent oil market period including steering it towards greater cooperation with non-OPEC oil producers.

After leaving OPEC at the end of this month, Barkindo was due to join U.S. think tank the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center as a distinguished fellow.

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