Govt holds discussion with Indian Western Secretary on oil & gas, energy cooperation

…as India recommits to providing aid to SIDS through UN Development Fund

The Government of Guyana, through Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat, on Wednesday was able to hold discussions with India through Secretary (West) of the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Shri Pavan Kapoor where the potential for collaboration in areas that include oil and gas was explored.
The discussions were held on the sidelines of the fourth international conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) in Antigua and Barbuda. It was announced that during a discussion on the sidelines of the event, the two officials held talks “on a range of issues including cooperation in hydrocarbon sector and Indian technical assistance extended to Guyana in capacity building and developing infrastructure in energy and power sectors.”

Shri Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West) during a courtesy call with Guyana’s Prime Minister, Brigadier (Retired) Mark Phillip

The Guyanese delegation to the SIDS4 conference was led by Prime Minister, retired Brigadier Mark Phillips. In addition to Minister Bharrat, Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill also represented Guyana at the event.
Meanwhile, Shri Pavan Kapoor addressed the plenary session during day 2 of SIDS4, where he also reiterated India’s commitment to continuing its support for SIDS, of which Guyana is one, through innovative financing under the India/United Nations fund.
“India will continue to support implementing the Antigua and Barbuda agenda for SIDS, through its longstanding bilateral development partnerships that include concessional financing, grant assistance and capacity building and training programmes.”
“Through the India/UN Development Partnership Fund, we’ve also focused on the SIDS. Presently the fund supports 82 projects in 57 countries, of which half are SIDS,” Kapoor further said.
India is already expected to partner with Guyana in critical areas in the oil and gas sector, including refining crude oil, as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian Government approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two nations in January of this year.
This MoU would see India sourcing crude from Guyana, an arrangement that it has previously done such as in 2021 when HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), a joint venture between State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Indian steel tycoon LN Mittal, bought Guyana’s crude.

Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat (left) with Shri Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West) of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs

It was also announced in January last year that India, where President Dr Irfaan Ali had led a delegation of Guyanese earlier that very month, had made an initial proposal on the direct long-term purchase of crude. At the time, it had been announced that Guyana was examining the proposal at a technical level.
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the signing of an MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Republic of Guyana on cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.
Another area the MoU will cover is cooperation with Guyana for crude oil refining. Additionally, it will create opportunities for Indian companies to explore and produce oil in Guyana and for collaboration in natural gas.
At the Government bilateral level, the MoU allows for capacity building, strengthening bilateral trade, collaborating to develop oil and gas-related regulations and cooperation in renewable and clean energy, including biofuels and solar energy.
It had also been revealed in February that India has sourced as much as US$149 million in crude oil from Guyana between 2021 and 2022. (G3)