Guyana’s Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo is preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of India.
According to Guyana’s Department of Public Information (DPI), the MoU is meant to foster cooperation in the oil and gas sector. It could include commitments for the purchase of Guyana’s crude by India. The South Asian country has been gunning for a long-term crude sales deal with Guyana, from the Payara project.
Payara is located in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. The Prosperity floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel is on its way from Singapore, likely to arrive in the second quarter of 2023.
DPI said Jagdeo has also discussed the likelihood of India exploring for resources at blocks outside of the current offshore auction. The Guyana government has said it plans to pursue government-to-government partnerships for the development of resources from blocks it has set aside.
India has several state companies operating in the petroleum sector, the largest of which is Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). Its subsidiary, ONGC Videsh, operates outside of India.
Jagdeo also said, “Next year, ExxonMobil will have to give up 20% of their holdings. So, all of those will be available for some form of bilateral engagement, where we can actually see joint production or exploration-related activities.”
The super major has discovered 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels in the southeastern half of the 6.6 million-acre block.
The Guyana VP is also quoted as saying Guyana wants help from India in defining its gas policy, and that it hopes to recruit skilled workers from India to help develop its resources.
Outside of oil and gas, Guyana plans to collaborate with India for agricultural development, especially to develop Guyana’s capabilities for the farming and commercialisation of sugar, rice, biofuels, livestock development and a range of cash crops.
Guyana plans to be the breadbasket of the Caribbean, after having spearheaded the 25×2025 initiative, meant to slash the region’s food import bill by 25% by 2025. After taking up office, Guyana President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali had taken up the lead role on agriculture in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) quasi-Cabinet. The union has made considerable progress toward the goal. The agriculture sector is one of Guyana’s major non-oil focuses to ensure the Guyanese economy remains diverse.
Underscoring the expected collaboration between Guyana and India across sectors, the two countries recently signed an air services agreement to pursue increased air travel.