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OPEC Scribe: Kuwaiti Candidate Chances Looks Bright with Widespread Support

Barkindo OPEC Board.jpg

As the race for OPEC top job hits up there are strong indications that this position of Secretary General may swing to favour the candidate from Kuwait as he seem to be gaining widespread support from the group, with current secretary general Mohammad Barkindo not expected to seek re-election.

Haitham al-Ghais, a former Kuwaiti governor to OPEC, is the only candidate for the role of secretary general sources said.

OPEC is expected to elect a new secretary general at its meeting on Jan. 4, a third source said.

Nigerian Barkindo, whose is due to step down at the end of next July, took OPEC’s top job in mid-2016 and was granted a second three-year term in 2019.

Barkindo has steered OPEC through a period of extreme turbulence, in which prices have crashed several times, including to below zero in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also helped to clinch a deal with non-OPEC producers such as Russia to reduce global oil output to balance the market since 2016.

The new secretary general will have to balance OPEC revenue needs against pressures from the United States to pump more oil to help to meet demand as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are some of the closest U.S. allies in the Middle East

Al-Ghais stepped down as Kuwait’s OPEC governor in June this year and was appointed deputy managing director of international marketing at state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).

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