Vice president, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who is in India on an official visit, has disclosed that a memorandum of understanding between Guyana and the South Asia country, to boost cooperation in the oil and gas sector is likely to be signed.
Last Friday, vice president Jagdeo was interviewed by an Indian news outlet. He expressed Guyana’s readiness to sign the MoU, which is awaiting the approval of India’s cabinet.
With Guyana being the country with one of the world’s largest oil reserves, equivalent to more than 11 billion barrels, Dr Jagdeo laid out several plans for the two nations to partner in energy.
He referenced discussions with India on oil supplies, which was a focal point of president, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s visit to New Delhi in January.
This year, some 14 oil blocks offshore Guyana are being auctioned and VP Jagdeo is quoted as saying,“ We also explored the possibility of India examining the abundant resources that we’ve had outside of those that are on auction now.”
Another opportunity for India lies in the Stabroek block,“ Next year, ExxonMobil will have to give up 20 percent 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,” Dr Jagdeo stated.
Further, the vice president said Guyana is looking to recruit skilled workers from India to help develop the oil and gas sector.
“We don’t want India’s involvement only in defining our gas policy, but also from an investment perspective to develop those resources,” the vice president added.“We’ve identified a large number of areas of technical skills that are available in India that we plan to aggressively recruit into our agricultural efforts,” Dr Jagdeo noted.
Specific reference was made to support the development of Guyana’s capabilities in sugar, rice, biofuels, livestock development and a range of cash crops.
The vice president has met with several key Indian officials including the minister of external affairs of India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, where the two senior government officials discussed the historical relationship between Guyana and India, as well as greater opportunities in partnership, notably in trade, energy, agriculture, skills and people-to-people ties.
During his meeting with vice president, Jagdeep Dhankhar it was agreed that the two nations will continue to work on strengthening bilateral partnership in various sectors including petroleum and natural gas, agriculture, agro-processing, education, healthcare, capacity building, ICT, renewable energy and climate change.
He also met with the minister for agriculture and farmers welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar.
In addition, the Union cabinet chaired by India’s prime minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the signing of the Air Services Agreement between the governments of Guyana and India, a statement issued by the nation’s public relations bureau confirmed on Wednesday last.