Packed agenda as India’s Foreign Minister visits; VP says any agreement on oil sales will be commercial


India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is on an official three-day to Guyana and while energy is on the agenda, it will not dominate talks as Guyana is looking to secure cooperation on several other fronts.

A broad-based Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was agreed to during Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo’s recent visit to India and that agreement is expected to guide the talks.

“We don’t have a proposal at this time (from India) to buy crude but we are moving forward in areas like agriculture,” the Vice President added.

Ahead of that visit, Dr Jagdeo on Thursday said Guyana had not acceded to the request from some Indian companies for a discount on the freight should a future agreement be reached for the sale of Guyana’s crude to India.

Dr Jagdeo clarified that there is no formal proposal from India to buy Guyana’s crude as yet.

“I saw something about oil and gas and long-term contracts. At this stage, we signed a broad-based MoU so India, at some point, may seek to buy crude from Guyana.

“There was some talk about a discount on freight… I made it clear to the Petroleum Minister in India that any sale of our crude will be on commercial terms not a discounted term,” Jagdeo said.

He told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that Guyana is awaiting proposals from the Indian authorities on a number of things including the setting up of a tissue culture facility.

The MoU, Jagdeo previously told reporters, is an overarching framework for energy cooperation and that includes developing Guyana’s oil and gas resources and more renewable sources of energy.

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