MoU between Guyana, India extends beyond oil and gas resources – VP

Trade, sale in crude oil being explored

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday clarified that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed between Guyana and India extends beyond the utilisation of oil and gas resources, adding that there is no agreement to sell oil to India at this time.

However, the vice president explained that should such an agreement materialise, it will have to be competitive and for the benefit of both countries.

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo during his press conference on Friday

“The MoU will deal with a number of issues. It will deal with exploring the possibility of trading in crude oil, that is, the sale of crude oil, but we agreed that this has to follow market conditions. We will cooperate in all of these areas. But, when it comes to specific initiatives, for example, if they want to buy crude, then they will make a specific offer, and then we will assess that offer on its merit. Similarly, if they prefer, they want to engage in a bilateral discussion on exploration and development, a specific proposal will be made, and that will be done,” he told journalists at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

The MoU, which is currently awaiting approval from India’s Cabinet, the VP noted, deals with strengthening Guyana’s regulatory capacity and sharing expertise in building the capacity of the staff at the Ministry of Natural Resources.

“India has an enormous capacity in many areas, and we hope to benefit from their expertise in the strengthening of the regulatory regime here for the oil and gas sector,” the VP added.

To this end, VP Jagdeo disclosed that India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, is expected to visit Guyana to solidify this partnership between the two countries. 

The VP’s recent visit saw discussions centred on a framework agreement, fostering cooperation in various sectors including petroleum and natural gas, agriculture, agro-processing, education, healthcare, capacity building, ICT, renewable energy and climate change.

The vice president also delivered the inaugural address at the World Development Summit, where he spoke extensively about Guyana’s approach to the forestry sector and how these resources will be utilised to tackle the issue of adaptation in indigenous communities.

VP Jagdeo reaffirmed that the country will not be relying on financial support to address issues of adaptation. The country will be taking a sustainable approach, responsibly exploiting its natural resources to mitigate the effects. This entails funneling funds into strengthening, building out, and maintaining the infrastructure to foster sustainability in the country.

He pointed out that, “In our case, money earned through the forestry sector and from the oil and gas industry would go towards climate-proofing our economy and safeguarding our people. That means billions of dollars on managing water, protecting our coastal zone, moving to crops that are climate resilient. Since we can’t stop these events, we need to now adapt to them.”