India sets sights on Guyana’s oil basin

India High Commissioner to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam

The Indian Government is showing interest in Guyana’s emerging petroleum industry; not only as a potential source of crude for its growing domestic demand but also for its own exploration activities.

The Asian giant’s Plenipotentiary Representative to Guyana, High Commissioner Venkatachalam Mahalingam on Thursday gave the affirmation during a press engagement at his Georgetown Guyana Office.

Speaking with reporters, the Indian High Commissioner said, “Guyana being the new member of the oil club…we have also expressed our interest in buying oil.”

The Indian Diplomat said his country currently sources its oil for domestic use from the US, South Africa and neighbouring Venezuela among others, “so we can also buy oil from Guyana.”

On the matter of securing oil blocks for exploration in Guyana, High Commissioner Mahalingam was unable to provide details at the time but told Guyanese reporters the Indian Government’s Ministry of Oil and Gas and Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources have in the past year been in constant correspondence with a view to finalizing the bilateral arrangements.

While the High Commissioner was unable to speak to the advancement of any specific proposal, he did indicate that the country has expressed an interest in securing oil blocks.

The discussions, he said, were borne during a visit to India last year by a Guyanese delegation headed by Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo and which included Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman.

That visit was at the request of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

The High Commissioner on Thursday said, at the time, the Indian Oil and Gas Minister met with his Guyanese counterpart, Mr. Trotman at which point the discussions began.

He said too the Indian government has also committed to providing assistance to the Guyanese administration in the development of its upstream, midstream and downstream O&G industries.

Guyana, he said, is still to provide a proposal for identifying specific areas of cooperation before the two countries can move forward on the areas of assistance.