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Guyana in talks with Qatar, UAE and others on oil blocks exploration

Guyana's President Mohamed Irfaan Ali gives a speech in Georgetown, Guyana. [Photo by KENO GEORGE/AFP via Getty Images]
Guyana's President Mohamed Irfaan Ali gives a speech in Georgetown, Guyana. [Photo by KENO GEORGE/AFP via Getty Images]

Guyana is in talks with Qatar, UAE, Britain and India to explore offshore oil and gas blocks in conjunction with a bidding round this year, President Irfaan Ali said on Monday.

"We have been toying with a number of options," Ali said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Trinidad and Tobago. "We have gone out publicly with the bid round (and) there is also that room we are looking at for government-to-government collaboration."

"In the environment we are operating, you have to keep as many cards on the table," he added.

Ali had previously stated that some blocks would be set aside for bilateral agreements, but Monday was the first time he was explicit about which countries might be included in the arrangement.

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Reuters reported that earlier this month, as part of a seven-day official visit to India, Ali encouraged companies to participate in the upcoming bidding round and engaged in talks with the government for block allocations to state companies and on possible oil supply contracts to the Asian country.

Guyana will reportedly receive bids through mid-April from energy firms, with 14 areas encompassing shallow and deepwater areas on offer for exploration.

The South American country is considered the world's fastest growing economy, in part due to its new found oil and gas wealth following the offshore discovery of 11 billion barrels of oil and gas in 2015. Earlier this month, President Ali claimed that, without taking into account Guyana's oil and gas economy, it will still be the world's fifth fastest growing economy.

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Asia & AmericasCaribbeanEurope & RussiaGuyanaIndiaMiddle EastNewsQatarTrinidad & TobagoUAEUK
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