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OPEC names Kuwait oil executive as secretary general

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Top oil producing countries on Monday picked Kuwaiti oil executive Haitham al-Ghais as the next secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Al-Ghais, who was Kuwait's OPEC governor from 2017 to June 2021, serves as a deputy managing director of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).

“The conference decided by acclamation to appoint Mr Haitham al-Ghais of Kuwait as secretary general of the Organization, with effect from 1 August 2022, for a period of three years,” the OPEC statement said.

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He will replace Nigeria's Mohammed Barkindo, who took over the helm of the organisation in 2016 and led it for two terms.

It was during Barkindo's tenure that the grouping drastically slashed oil output in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hit global markets.

Since last year, they have been gradually opening the tabs again and prices have bounced back.

The Vienna-based organisation comprises 13 members led by Saudi Arabia, which together with their 10 allies, including Russia, fixes output to control prices.

Read more:

Kuwait’s candidate has widespread support for top OPEC job: Reuters

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US considering moving troops from Western Europe to Eastern Europe: NATO diplomat

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The United States is considering transferring some troops stationed in Western Europe to Eastern Europe in the coming weeks, a NATO diplomat told Reuters, amid escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

“This has to do with American troops that are already in Europe,” the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirming a New York Times report that said US President Joe Biden was considering sending US troops to the Baltics and Eastern European allies.

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NATO said on Monday it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets, in what Russia denounced as an escalation of tensions over Ukraine.

The diplomat said the potential troop movements would be gradual and that any filling of NATO gaps on its eastern flank could take place in the coming weeks.

Read more: From Kyiv, top US diplomat warns Russia against Ukraine aggression

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Several wounded in shooting in German city; gunman dead

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A lone gunman wounded several people at a lecture theater in the southwestern German city of Heidelberg on Monday, police said.

Police said in a brief statement that the perpetrator was dead, but didn’t give details of how that happened. They had earlier asked people on Twitter to avoid the Neuenheimer Feld area of Heidelberg, where the city’s university campus is located.

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Police didn’t specify how many people were wounded, or how seriously, and there was no information on their identities or that of the suspected shooter. The university’s press office declined to give any details on the shooting and referred all inquiries to police.

German news agency dpa cited unidentified security sources as saying that the gunman killed himself.

Police said the weapon used in the shooting was a long-barreled firearm.

Heidelberg is located south of Frankfurt and has about 160,000 inhabitants. Its university is one of Germany’s best-known.

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Aramco CEO says oil demand nearing pre-pandemic levels: Report

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Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Al Nasser said that the demand for oil is nearing pre-pandemic levels, Asharq Business reported in a tweet on Monday.

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Saudi Aramco to establish presence in China to focus on non-metals in construction

EIG-led investors in Aramco oil pipelines hire banks for dual-tranche bonds

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