Trinidad replaces Venezuela as Guyana’s fuel supplier
Guyana has increased its acquisition of oil from Trinidad and Tobago, a senior Government official confirmed yesterday.
The increase would come amidst a claim by Venezuela on Guyana’s waters and lands, following the discovery of oil offshore Georgetown by US-owned ExxonMobil earlier this year.
According to Government officials yesterday, supplies of oil from Venezuela’s refinery in Curacao had shown signs of becoming unreliable.
No shipments have been made from Venezuela since late July.
A chartered oil tanker that went to Curacao in July but was unable to collect fuel left Guyana facing possible shortages.
With demurrage and other charter charges rising, the tanker was diverted to Trinidad and Tobago.
Prime Minister of the Twin-Island Republic, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, had offered Guyana to help meet its energy needs.
Guyana has been depending largely on Venezuela and to a lesser extent, Trinidad and Tobago, to meet its oil needs.
The Government official insisted that Guyana has not stopped taking oil from Venezuela which was provided under what was known as the PetroCaribe arrangement, a deal that was introduced a decade ago by former President, Hugo Chavez.
That deal, which allowed Guyana to delay payments for up to 20 years, saw the country shipping rice in exchange. The rice deal is set to expire in November with Venezuela unlikely to renew it.
The Guyana Oil Company was taking the majority of an estimated 1.3 barrels of oil annually from Venezuela.
The shipments had been coming from Venezuela fortnightly, depending on the stocks held by GuyOil.
In 2013, GuyOil’s acquisition of oil was a significant $44B.
Oil imports account for the biggest chunk of Guyana’s foreign exchange spending.