By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. July 27, 2022: A U.S. bank has offered up to 2 billion in funding to a South American CARICOM nation.
Guyana and the United States Export-Import Bank (EximBank) on Wednesday, July 27th, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to finance projects in Guyana – outside of oil and gas – for up to an initial US$2 billion.
The signing took place in Washington D.C where President Irfaan Ali was leading a high-level delegation. The agreement was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd and the President of the EXIM Bank, Reta Jo Lewis.
In brief remarks after the signing, Dr. Ali said the move was “dynamic, bold and futuristic in advancing the cause of both countries.”
He said the areas identified show the broad and multifaceted nature of the leadership at the bank, pointing out that most investors narrowly focus on Guyana’s oil and gas opportunities.
“We have been a leader on climate change, the environmental, biodiversity, food security and agriculture and we have crucial infrastructural links that can unlock the potential of our natural resources,” he said.
Dr. Ali also explained that the bank, and the United States government by extension, are regarded as “partners of choice” because of their shared values and principles.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with the Guyanese President in Washington, DC. on Jyly 26th. Secretary Blinken and President Ali discussed the importance of creating a sustainable energy future, bolstering food and energy security, safeguarding the environment, and promoting good governance, shared prosperity, and inclusive growth. The Secretary also emphasized the strength of our relationship and importance of future bilateral cooperation to make progress on the region’s most pressing issues.
Guyana President Irfaan Ali meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, not pictured, at the State Department in Washington, DC, on July 25, 2022. (Photo by SARAH SILBIGER / POOL / AFP)
HARRIS AND ALI
On the same day, US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with President Mohamed Irfaan Ali of Guyana as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to strengthen partnerships with Caribbean nations, and to underscore the continued importance the United States places on the U.S.-Guyana relationship.
She reiterated the interest of the United States in addressing the unique vulnerabilities and urgent economic challenges facing Caribbean nations.
In particular, the Vice President and President Ali discussed the work of the U.S.-Caribbean food security committee, which President Ali leads for the Caribbean. The Vice President thanked President Ali for his leadership and noted that addressing food insecurity is a global priority for the Biden-Harris Administration, which is working with the international community to provide immediate aid to the hungry and to promote investment in agriculture to increase food production. The Vice President and President Ali discussed the recent commitment of the United States to provide $28 million for food security assistance to Caribbean nations and other ways the United States can support the Caribbean in this area.
The Vice President and President Ali discussed the importance of a sustainable energy future. As part of that, they discussed the implementation of the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030), which the Vice President launched in June to facilitate clean energy infrastructure development and strengthen climate resiliency in the Caribbean. The Vice President highlighted efforts to accelerate PACC 2030’s energy infrastructure development timeline by incorporating these lines of effort into the work of the U.S.-Caribbean short-term energy and finance committees.
The Vice President noted that she looked forward to continuing her collaboration with President Ali in promoting inclusive democracy, economic development, and security for all Guyanese, and underscored the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to strengthening U.S. partnerships with the Caribbean.
The news comes as Exxon Mobil Corp said on Tuesday, July 28th, that it has made two new oil discoveries offshore Guyana and that has already exceeded its original year-end daily production target for the CARICOM nation.
The announcements are part of Exxon’s efforts to accelerate production in Guyana and to invest in long-term megaprojects that offer lower costs and lower carbon emissions per barrel. A group led by Exxon started production in the tiny nation of 750,000 people in 2019 and currently controls all output in Guyana.
“Exxon and its partners continue to accelerate exploration, development and production activities for the benefit of all stakeholders, including the people of Guyana,” Liam Mallon, head of Exxon’s upstream company said in a statement.
Guyana amounts for one third of the crude discovered in the world since Exxon first hit oil in the country in 2015, according to Rystad consultancy firm. The about 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil discovered to date should make the country a global oil power in the coming years, Rystad says.
Exxon has announced an average of one discovery per month this year. The two new oil discoveries – Seabob and Kiru-Kiru – take the total number of discoveries to more than 30.
The U.S. major said it is already producing more than the 340,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) target it had originally set for itself by the end of 2022 in Guyana.