Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat held talks with India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh at the sidelines of the ongoing India Energy Week in Quitol, Goa yesterday.
During that meeting, Singh noted India’s interest to sign a multi-year oil purchase deal with Guyana.
After a meeting with India’s oil minister, Bharrat also said Indian companies are interested in picking up stakes in Guyana’s exploration acreage through negotiation rather than a bidding process.
Indian companies did not participate in Guyana’s latest oil and gas bidding round.
“We will make a decision at some point in time on crude oil sales to India in a long-term deal,” Bharrat told reporters as quoted by the Deccan Herald.
He said any such deal with India would have to be approved by the Cabinet with India recognized as the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer of crude sources.
In a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Singh said “in a very productive discussion with Vickram Bharrat… we discussed how India will be the demand centre for oil in the coming decades accounting for about 25% of global energy demand growth between 2020 – 2040.”
This, the Indian Minister said, presented significant opportunities for collaboration between India and Guyana.
Hydrocarbon trade between the countries saw growth in 2021 and 2022 reaching an all-time high of US$149 million with the start of crude oil sourcing from Guyana by Indian refiners.
“We discussed ways to build on this to further expand & cement our ties to cover other aspects of the energy sector including power plants, infrastructure & capacity building,” Singh said on X.
India approved the signing of a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Guyana earlier this month for cooperation in energy.
In April 2023, India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was on an official three-day visit to Guyana.
Then, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo 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.
He told reporters 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.