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New OPEC Secretary General to take office on August 1

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01 August 2022

 OPEC's new Secretary General, Kuwait representative Haitham al-Ghais, will take office on August 1.

 Haitham al-Ghais was elected head of the organization at its extraordinary meeting in early January for a period of three years. He was the representative of Kuwait in OPEC from 2017 to 2021, and is currently the Deputy Managing Director for Marketing of the state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).

 At the traditional semi-annual OPEC conference in early December 2021, ministers failed to elect a new Secretary General to replace Mohammed Barkindo, whose term expired in August 2022. As Bloomberg reported citing delegates, during the meeting, Saudi Arabia insisted on choosing a new secretary general back then, but met with resistance, in particular from Iraq. Iraq and Kuwait presented their candidates.

 The OPEC conference usually appoints the Secretary General for a period of three years and may extend his powers one more time for the same period.

 Barkindo served two terms in his post. Shortly before the end of his term, on July 5, he died at the age of 63.