Two sources informed Reuters that Kuwait’s nominee for the presidency of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had significant support inside the organization, with incumbent Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo not anticipated to seek re-election.
According to the two reports, Haitham al-Ghais, a former Kuwaiti governor to OPEC, is the lone contender for the position of secretary general.
According to a third source, OPEC will elect a new secretary general during its meeting on January 4.
Barkindo, a Nigerian, took over as OPEC’s chief executive in mid-2016 and was re-elected to a second three-year term in 2019.
Barkindo has led OPEC during a period of extraordinary turmoil, during which prices have fallen to near zero on multiple occasions, particularly in 2020 due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Since 2016, he has also aided in the conclusion of a pact with non-OPEC producers such as Russia to decrease world oil supply.
The next secretary general will have to strike a compromise between OPEC’s income requirements and US demands to produce more oil to assist fulfill demand as the country recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are among the United States’ closest Middle East friends.
Al-Ghais stepped down as Kuwait’s OPEC governor in June and was promoted to Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s deputy managing director of international marketing (KPC).