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India wants multi-year oil purchase deal with Guyana -Guyana minister

Friday, 09 February 2024 | 01:00

India wants to sign a multi-year oil purchase deal with Guyana and acquire stakes in the South American nation’s exploration areas, the Guyanese minister for natural resources said on Thursday.

“We will make a decision at some point in time” on crude oil sales to India in a long-term deal, Vickram Bharrat told reporters on the sidelines of industry event India Energy Week in Goa.

He said any such deal with India would have to be approved by Guyana’s cabinet.

India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, wants to diversify its crude sources.

India approved the signing of a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Guyana earlier this month for cooperation in energy.

After a meeting with India’s oil minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, Bharat also said Indian companies are interested in picking up stakes in Guyana’s exploration acreage through negotiation rather than a bidding process.

Indian companies did not participate in Guyana’s latest oil and gas bidding round.

“Our preference (for offering oil blocks for exploration) will be through bidding, and if there is any interest in any a particular block, we are willing to negotiate and enter an agreement,” Bharrat said.

When asked if Guyana was willing to offer stakes in the Stabroek block to Indian companies, he said Guyana can offer stakes through negotiation only in relinquished area.

The country may launch an exploration bidding round later this year for the relinquished areas of Stabroek and other blocks.

“We have some relinquished acreage from Stabroek and other blocks so simply that means possibly we will have a bidding round possibly later this year,” he said.

Stabroek, a consortium led by Exxon-Mobil XOM.N that controls offshore production in Guyana, last year was required to return 20% of unexplored acres under the original 2016 production contract.

There are three floating production storage and offloading facilities (FPSOs) deployed at the Stabroek block, he added.

The block has reached production of 650,000 barrels per day (bpd), and the country expects to reach production of 1.2 million bpd by 2027, Bharrat said.

Guyana’s oil production averaged 377,000 bpd in 2023.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christopher Cushing)

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