Guyana, Suriname to establish local content platform to create opportunities – Minister Bharrat

In his presentation to the International Energy Conference and Expo last Wednesday, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat announced that Guyana and Suriname intend to establish a local content platform. This initiative, he pointed out, will create and support opportunities for both countries in areas of oil and gas, agriculture, investment and other critical sectors.

In addition, the minister pointed out, both countries are looking to establish a common gas strategy which will also facilitate development in infrastructure, industries, manufacturing, and natural resources.

“Cognisant of the vast potential of Guyana and Suriname’s oil and gas sectors, the two countries have been strategising since 2021 on the development of this critical and lucrative sector.

This is also being done with a commitment from both President Ali and President Santokhi to ensure that their countries’ oil and gas sectors are prudently managed. The two countries will be developing their local human capacities in some key areas with certification in the oil and gas sector such as welding,” the Natural Resources Minister articulated in his presentation.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat

He said further, that the two CARICOM member states have also been looking at developments on the gas markets. A joint gas development strategy will see growth for both frontiers, Minister Bharrat indicated, noting that in addition to the domestic demand of the two countries, there is also access to huge markets in northern Brazil and along the Guiana Shield, and as such, Guyana and Suriname have the potential of becoming the food and energy capital of the region.

“Moreover,” the Natural Resources Minister explained, “both Guyana and Suriname, along with Brazil, are exploring the options for the formation of an energy corridor, as well as mutual opportunities within the oil-and- gas sectors of all three countries. Guyana and Suriname have burgeoning petroleum sectors, while Brazil is one of the leading oil producers of the world.”

The operationalisation of this plan would require development of local knowledge and capacity in the area of logistics and other technical support services. Hence, the minister noted that with Guyana being a critical gateway between South America and the Caribbean, the links created by this corridor would position the country as a critical shipping hub. This integration requires careful planning, and the development of a logistics industry. Additionally, with Guyana seeking to become a regional economic hub, the growth agenda for the economy is centered on improving economic relations, energy and food security, telecommunications, agriculture, infrastructure integration and the development of a deep-water harbour in Guyana. Thus, Minister Bharrat highlighted since Guyana offers the shortest and quickest access to the Atlantic Ocean for significant parts of northern Brazil, a road connection linked to the deep-water port, could also serve the interest of both countries.