By Vishani Ragobeer in New Delhi
India remains keenly interested in a long-term oil supply deal with Guyana to help meet its vast energy needs and is hopeful that ongoing talks will yield positive results, the country’s Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs Saurabh Kumar has said.
Kumar, speaking to visiting journalists on Thursday, said Guyana and India have established a working group to advance cooperation in the area of oil and gas.
This working group, the News Room understands, is part of a broader cooperation plan between the two countries. The countries are pursuing a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the energy sector.
Still, the South-Asian country, which is the world’s third-largest energy-consuming country, remains hopeful of the long-pursued oil supply deal with Guyana.
“Discussions are taking place and what we want is a long-term supply deal.
“Once discussions in this group reach some kind of fruition, we would be having that,” Kumar said.
Both Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali and Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, who both travelled to India this year, supported growing collaboration with India, specifically in the energy sector.
President Ali, however, disclosed that the South-Asian country is expected to send a proposal on the potential long-term purchase of Guyana’s oil.
Once that proposal is received, Guyana is expected to assess whether it will get a beneficial deal supplying its share of oil produced in the prolific Stabroek Block offshore to India
Secretary Kumar did not comment on the proposal. Instead, he said talks continue.
“All I would say is that good discussions have taken place and those discussions are continuing.
“And our Foreign Minister (Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishanka) is likely to visit your country and we are hopeful that we would have a positive outcome out of these discussions,” Kumar said.
Guyana’s Vice President, at a press conference earlier this month, disclosed that the Foreign Minister would be visiting Guyana to ink the MoU with Guyana once that agreement is approved by the Indian Cabinet.
Outside of the long-term oil supply, President Ali had said that the two governments are also exploring the possible award of oil blocks directly to India.
Meanwhile, Secretary Kumar said India could also explore options for petroleum resources in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) to meet its “huge” oil and gas needs.
“As far as Trinidad and Tobago is concerned, we’ll be very happy to look at options.
“…We have investments in Colombia and Venezuela and any other opportunities we have, we would be happy to look at those,” he told reporters.