The Guyanese government is considering awarding exploration blocks to Indian companies through direct negotiations as part of a broader co-operation between the two nations.

During a visit to India, Guyana’s President Mohamed Irfaan Ali encouraged companies from the subcontinent to submit bids in an upcoming licensing round featuring 14 offshore blocks in the prolific Guyana-Suriname basin.

Asked if Guyana would also offer blocks to Indian companies through direct negotiations, Ali told Reuters news agency that the two countries are discussing government-to-government partnerships in a number of areas, including exploration.

Guyana and India have formed two technical groups to look into details of bilateral co-operation in the hydrocarbons sector, Reuters reported, quoting Ali.

India is the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer, buying over 84% of the crude it needs from overseas, and its companies are keen to secure oil through long-term deals.

This year, Guyana plans to host a competitive bid round including 11 shallow-water tracts near the prolific Stabroek block, as well as three deep-water permits adjacent to the Canje and Kaieteur blocks.

Interest in the Guyana oil and gas sector is on the rise after US supermajor ExxonMobil found about 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent in recoverable resources in Stabroek.

ExxonMobil is currently producing about 370,000 barrels per day of oil offshore Guyana via the Liza Unity and Liza Destiny floating production, storage and offloading vessels in the giant Liza field.

A third unit, the Prosperity FPSO, will start output at the Payara field later this year, while the One Guyana FPSO is expected to produce from the Yellowtail development in 2025.

ExxonMobil is expected to have a final investment decision shortly for a fifth development in Guyana comprising a large floater to produce in the Uaru field.

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