It is with deep sadness that I have been informed of the unexpected death of Secretary General Barkindo of OPEC here in Abudja - at the very same time when I myself am on mission to meet the officials of many Nigerian governmental authorities, in order to exchange views about the Energy Charter Treaty and its modernisation process.
Dr. Mohammad Barkindo, a Nigerian politician and long-serving Secretary-General of OPEC, died at the age of 63 - just days before he was set to finish his term at the organization.
The international energy community has lost a respected and forward-looking leader - who cannot be easily replaced. It is a great loss to his immediate family, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the whole nation of Nigeria, as well as OPEC and the global energy community.
I and the entire team of the Energy Secretariat stands with his family, the OPEC staff, and the Nigerian authorities and its people in those difficult moments.