‘Unprecedented cooperation’ as Guyana & Dominican Republic to build oil refinery

… Spanish-speaking country could possibly drill for oil offshore Guyana

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Guyana and the Dominican Republic are deepening bilateral ties with a keen focus on capitalising on prolific oil finds offshore the South-American nation through the establishment of a new oil refinery and the potential exploration and production of oil.

Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali and his counterpart in the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader signed several agreements during Dr. Ali’s official visit to the country on Tuesday.

Among those agreements was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of an oil refinery in Guyana that could possibly refine at least 50,000 barrels of oil daily.

With this new venture, however, it was noted that the Dominican Republic will be the majority shareholder, with a 51 per cent stake.

Talks about a refinery first emerged in June during President Abinader’s visit to Guyana. And on Tuesday, he described the cooperation between the two countries as unprecedented.

“Today we are making history. It is a collaboration milestone for the Caribbean region that is unprecedented for both countries…” President Abinader said.

President Irfaan Ali and President Luis Abinader at the National Palace in the Dominican Republic. (Photo: Office of the President/ August 08, 2023)

Aside from the refinery plans, the countries signed another MoU that will assess the feasibility of the Dominican Republic participating in oil exploration at an oil block offshore Guyana.

Guyana is producing about 360,000 to 400,000 barrels of oil per day in the Stabroek Block. In this block alone, production is set to increase beyond one million barrels of oil per day before the end of the decade.

To satisfy local and regional needs, Guyana has been seeking a private investor for an oil refinery.

Beyond oil and gas cooperation, the two countries agreed to intensify collaboration in the areas of agriculture (particularly corn and soya production), tourism and business-to-business relations.

Several government officials including Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond and Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud and a private sector delegation joined President Ali for his visit to the Dominican Republic.

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