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HOUSTON/NEW DELHI: South America’s fastest growing oil producer has turned down the Indian government’s request for discounted crude oil purchases during trade discussions, Guyana Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said on Thursday.

Guyana’s oil production in total has tripled from a year ago to about 380,000 barrels of oil per day. The government has rights to about 12.5% of the barrels, which are marketed under a one-year contract reached with BP last November.

India and Guyana have discussed a potential bilateral oil agreement for two years. The countries have failed to reach mutually agreed terms for now, Jagdeo said, with talks continuing on agriculture, health care and other areas.

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“Any sale of our crude will have to be on commercial terms, not a discounted terms,” Jagdeo said at a briefing. “We don’t have a proposal at this point in time (from India) to buy crude”.

Guyana has been also trying to attract Indian companies to take part in its first competitive oil auction, which will offer 14 offshore blocks to highest bidders. Indian companies have not confirmed participation. The auction, initially set for September last year, was postponed to July.

Indian buyers have sought a discount to compensate for high freight costs to send its oil to the Asian country, Jagdeo said.

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“Guyana crude is costly for us because of high freight. Instead of paying a high freight for their oil, we will prefer to buy oil from the Middle East and east and west Africa,” said a person familiar with the Indian traders thinking. “Without concessions their crude doesn’t make commercial sense for us.”

India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, is expected to visit in the coming days to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two countries, Jagdeo said.

“We are moving forward on many of the other areas,” Jagdeo said.

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TimeToMovveOn Apr 23, 2023 05:50am
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