Kuwaiti Haitham Al-Ghais, the new Secretary-General of “OPEC”

Months before the end of his presidency of OPEC, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Muhammad Barkindo, passed away.
Barkindo had served as the Secretary-General of OPEC for 6 years, and had worked in the industry since the eighties, and in the activities of the organization since 1986, and is considered one of the founding fathers of the “OPEC +” agreement.
In 2016, before concluding the (OPEC +) agreement, Barkindo visited Russia several times, which helped attract non-OPEC countries, led by the Russian side, to participate in stabilizing the oil market. Barkindo also personally met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and repeatedly referred to the role of the Russian president in establishing cooperation between the oil countries.
He will be succeeded in his position by the Kuwaiti candidate Haitham Al-Ghais. Al-Ghais was born in Kuwait in October 1969, and has been working in the oil industry since 1993. He headed the Kuwaiti delegation to OPEC from 2017 to 2021, and did not leave his position until June 2021, when he was appointed Deputy Managing Director of International Marketing for the state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.
Al Ghais is fluent in six languages, including Arabic, English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Chinese. He also participated in the “OPEC +” deal. Since the beginning of its work in 2017, he has been the Chairman of the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) to follow up the implementation of the Production Regulatory Agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries.
It is worthy to note that the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries, including Russia, has been in effect since 2017. It aims to achieve stability in the oversupplied oil market, which pushed prices down.

Initially, the terms of the agreement included reducing the organization’s production by 1.2 million barrels per day within 6 months. However, the agreement has been repeatedly extended since then, the standards have changed, and it is currently valid until the end of 2022. In addition, the OPEC countries signed a permanent cooperation pact in the oil market