Guyana’s oil supplies part of India’s plan to ease shortages


India has been grappling with some supply challenges due to disruptions stemming from the Ukraine crisis, but the South-Asian country sees Guyana’s oil as part of the solution to its energy woes.

India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, during his visit to Brazil this week, told officials that his country has been grappling with shortages of some key goods.

The country’s mammoth energy demand has been particularly hard hit by supply chain disruptions, the External Affairs Minister said.

“This six months of this year has actually shown us all who do not have petroleum resources on the challenges of relying on the volatility of the market,” Jaishankar said.

With the Ukraine/ Russia war still ongoing, resulting in continued supply disruptions, the minister highlighted that India has been shopping around for stable suppliers.

And the Latin America region seems to be the South Asian country’s saviour.

Already, the country is investing more money- a whopping US$1.6 billion- in Brazil as part of an expanded energy investment plan. But that’s not all.

“We are also procuring more (oil).

“We are buying from Guyana, we are hoping to buy more from Mexico and Brazil,” the External Affairs Minister highlighted.

India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Photo: New Times of India)

In doing so, the country hopes that it can source enough crude oil resources to meet its needs.

It is, however, important to note that the genesis of India’s interest in Guyana’s oil is not the fallout from the Ukraine/ Russia crisis. In fact, the country has been trying to ink a long term supply deal with Guyana for more than a year now.

India, the world’s third-largest crude consumer and importer, approached Guyana’s government about a possible long-term deal to buy the South American country’s oil in 2021.

So far, the country purchased two lifts of oil- that is, the two consignments of the one million barrels of oil the government receives on behalf of Guyana. That contributed to the US$200 million in bilateral trade between the two countries, based on latest figures.

A long term supply deal has not yet been finalised. Guyanese officials said that getting the best price for Guyana’s crude oil, be it from India or otherwise, is a priority.

Meanwhile, during the Brazil visit, India’s Minister also related that the country has been facing some challenges securing much-needed cooking oil supplies.

Here again, Latin American countries have come to the rescue.

“The substitute is actually coming from Latin America- Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay,” Jaishankar highlighted.

Jaishankar’s visit to Brazil is part of a wider South American trip. He is on an official visit to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina from August 22 to 27; this is his first-ever official visit to the continent.

Last year, Indian High Commissioner to Guyana Dr. K. J. Srinivasa hinted that Minister Jaishankar may visit Guyana before the end of 2021. That visit did not materialise, however.

Minister Jaishankar met Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd in Delhi, India, earlier this year.

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