Brazil, Guyana agree to widen energy cooperation

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Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro (left) met with Guyana counterpart Irfaan Ali (right) to discuss energy cooperation (AFP/Keno GEORGE) (Keno GEORGE)
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Brazil and Guyana on Friday agreed to broaden energy cooperation during a visit by President Jair Bolsonaro to Georgetown, in which the South American neighbors also signed infrastructure and legal deals.

Former British and Dutch colony Guyana has emerged as one of the main low cost oil production countries and is preparing to auction offshore oil blocks at the end of the year.

"In terms of oil and gas, we have a Brazilian giant called Petrobras for whom cooperation with Guyana is becoming an ever greater reality. That's what we hope for," said Bolsonaro.

US giant ExxonMobil announced in April the discovery of three new oil deposits in Guyana, raising estimates of the country's oil reserves to the equivalent of 11 billion barrels.

Those discoveries fueled Guyana's existing border dispute with Venezuela, which wants to explore territorial waters claimed by both countries.

Guyana President Irfaan Ali evoked the idea of creating an energy corridor through his country, Brazil and Surinam.

"In the area of energy, we have discussed working together on a natural gas strategy and how that can be integrated in the development of Brazil and how we can coordinate and cooperate in this area," said Ali.

As part of the agreements, Brazil will provide Guyana with IT teams and programs to help in information gathering for defense and security, as well as the construction of a deep water port, road and rail links, hydroelectric energy development, fiber optic connectivity and agricultural projects.

They also signed legal cooperation agreements in civil and criminal matters.

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