Brazil ready to play a key role in Guyana’s petroleum sector

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The Brazilian Petroleum Corporation (Petrobras) has expressed a keen interest in entering Guyana’s burgeoning oil and gas sector. President David Granger explained that this is by no means a new offer, since they were engaged with Guyana in the 80s and in the early 2000s, but indicated that Guyana welcomes investments from its neighbour in that sector.

“Brazil has a well-established petroleum industry, they have experience, they have expertise and Brazil is an important strategic partner, an economic partner and we extended an invitation to them, we extended an invitation to the entire world to examine the prospects of petroleum exploration and production in Guyana and Brazil certainly is one of those and will be welcomed,” Mr Granger said.

President Granger made these remarks following a bilateral meeting with Brazil’s Head of State, President Michel Temer in Brasilia, where he is on an official State visit.  President Temer indicated during that meeting that Brazil has been following the development of the oil and gas sector with great interest and is prepared to explore the possibility of cooperating with Guyana in that regard.

President Granger explained that Guyana’s close proximity to Brazil can be a major advantage when it comes to cooperation in the petroleum sector, noting that Guyana is looking at reciprocal, multilateral agreements such as that which exists between the Brazilian Army and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).

“It is a level of cooperation that we want to foster and petroleum is just one of the areas we could invest in. We have invested in gold and diamonds; why not invest in bauxite or Petroleum?” he asked.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, who is currently with the President in Brazil, said that Guyana had given an open invitation to Brazil and more so, Petrobras and the fact that they have responded favourably is a great sense of reassurance and comfort to Guyana since Brazil has always been a good friend and supporter.

“I believe now there’s a sense of confidence in assuring that they can step forward and work with a Government that is willing to embrace them… There’s enough there for Guyana, there’s enough there to share with allies and friends and with Brazil being one of the world’s leading producers and now one of the world’s leading countries and a good friend of Guyana, it’s best friend in this hemisphere, it would be a great plus for the people of Guyana so we look forward to working with Brazil,” Minister Trotman said.

As it relates to the possibility of Brazil conducting exploratory work in Guyana, Minister Trotman informed that they are interested in helping to develop the Guyana basin offshore. He said there is an invitation for them to invest in Guyana as well as to provide much needed technical support and guidance based on their experience and expertise.

“Our next step would be to have their technical people either travel to Georgetown, where it’s more likely to be the best place for us to talk, meet with the technical people of the GGMC [Guyana Geology and Mines Commission], the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of the Presidency,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, who is also in Brazil, explained that as a result of the threat posed by Venezuela’s unjust claims on Guyana’s territory, many exploration companies were not interested in investing.

However, he indicated with a major company working in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that situation is changing.

“Brazil, of course, is our immediate neighbour and with its capacity in oil, and its capacity at Petrobras, is one of the major [player] in terms of deep sea drilling and we have no doubt that they can do the job,” he said.

Petrobras, which was established in 1953, specialises in exploration and production, refining, marketing, transportation, petrochemicals, oil product distribution, natural gas, electricity, chemical-gas and biofuels. (Extracted and modified from the Ministry of the Presidency)

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