Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Trinidad to assist Guyana develop oil sector

Published:Sunday | September 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley
President of Guyana David Arthur Granger

Trinidad and Tobago wants to help its CARICOM neighbour, Guyana, develop its oil sector, and is positioning itself to refine some of the newly discovered crude, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has said.

"We have refining capacity in Trinidad and Tobag, and Guyana has crude ... it may very well be that the possibility might exist for Guyana's crude to be refined in Trinidad and Tobago," Rowley said.

"Guyana is now an oil-producing country, and, in the not too distant future, when they come to market, we want to be there for consideration because it will benefit us considerably," he told reporters on Thursday.

The oil find by American energy giant ExxonMobil, which called it a "world-class oil discovery", is estimated at about 800 million to 1.4 billion oil equivalent barrels.

Port-of-Spain is expected to enter into an agreement with Georgetown in November for technical assistance following consultations with Guyanese officials.

Energy Minister Nicole Olivierre recently visited Guyana to hold talks with President David Granger and other officials, during which the offer of technical support was made.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet news conference on Thursday, Olivierre said Guyana has no experience in the oil and gas industry and was very receptive to the offer. She said President Granger had also asked for support in the areas of education with emphasis on engineering and technical studies, as well as infrastructure development, agriculture and eco-tourism.

Olivierre said a memorandum of understanding is being drafted.

"By November, a delegation representing both the public and private sector in Guyana would be coming to Trinidad to take a view of some of the operations and facilities that we have for the oil and gas sector. Specific areas of interest will include options for monetising natural gas, commercial and fiscal arrangements for the oil and gas sector, learning from us in our development of local content and also training of oil industry practitioners for Guyanese nationals," she said.

The energy minister said there is no financial commitment under the agreement as it is an offer of technical co-operation and guidance.