Cabinet to review alternative oil import sources- to mitigate supply disruptions

Georgetown, GINA, June 24, 2016

Guyana will continue to import oil from the existing supplier, Petrotrin while at the same time markets in non-CARICOM Caribbean Islands are still up for consideration.

A paper on approaches to mitigate supply disruptions was recently approved by the Board of Directors of GEA for Cabinet’s review Chief Executive Officer, Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Dr. Mahender Sharma told the Government Information Agency (GINA).

Chief Executive Officer, GEA, Dr. Mahender Sharma

Chief Executive Officer, GEA, Dr. Mahender Sharma

These approaches entail the identification of other markets that can be pursued, as well as mechanisms for improving local storage capacity. Upon receipt of Cabinet’s approval of the paper, the recommendations therein would be pursued. This will help to satisfy the country’s demand for oil

Sharma explained that energy security concerns have been brought to the attention of the Caribbean Community CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) through several fora particularly, the 60th and 61st Special Meetings of COTED held this year.

Currently, applications to purchase oil from other sources are made on a case-by-case basis following notification from Petrotrin in Trinidad and Tobago, on the availability of supplies.

Approval for purchasing oil outside of CARICOM has to be granted by the organization.. Participating member states want a more proactive approach in having the Common External Tariff (CET) for selected oil products imported reduced to zero percent, Sharma explained. COTED is in the process of reviewing the CET and this study would inform further development in this regard.

The Trinidad and Tobago Government and Petrotrin have committed to provide advance notice of product availability on a three-month basis, through an agreement with COTED as a means to guide short-term planning.

Guyana has, overtime, experienced fuel supply disruptions from Petrotrin resulting in the major oil companies having had to import from alternative regional and extra-regional sources. In efforts to mitigate local shortages, the Government sought waivers of the CET levied imports from outside of the region through COTED.

The inconsistency in product availability due to unexpected shutdowns over the past three years has been the cause for considering alternative markets within and outside of the region.

(COTED) promotes trade and economic development of the   (CARICOM) and oversees the operations of the Single Market and Economy.