Diplomats yesterday praised the “long-lasting relationship” being forged between Aberdeen and the South American nation of Guyana, while on a trade mission to the city.
The Guyanese ambassador to the UK, Frederick Hamley Case and the British high commissioner to the country, Greg Quinn, are leading the delegation, aimed at building relationships to support the country’s fledgling oil and gas sector.
Guyana has emerged as a global hotspot for offshore energy, with Exxon Mobil recently discovering the Liza prospect off the country’s coast, containing 4.2billion barrels of oil.
Over the course of the five-day trade mission, the delegation is meeting a series of oil and gas suppliers and academic institutions.
Plans are also underway to twin Aberdeen with Guyana’s capital city of Georgetown, expected to be completed next year.
Mr Case believes Aberdeen’s experience with the North Sea sector will be indispensable in his country’s own journey with the energy sector.
He said: “In terms of oil and gas this is our first trade mission, and next year there will be a reciprocal mission to Guyana from Aberdeen.
“I think the enthusiasm is there both from the private sector and the government and I am sure a lot will evolve from this.
“We want for there to be a reasonable amount of volume of local content, both in terms of the people employed and the businesses and industries that can develop from it and we think Aberdeen is a good place to learn from.”
A series of UK firms are already in place in the country, with Aberdeen-based Stena Drilling doing work for ExxonMobil there.
High commissioner Greg Quinn has seen UK interest “skyrocket” in the country since he started his post there in 2015.
He said: “Guyana is on the cusp of something.
“Aberdeen has been there, done it and got the picture. There are lessons positive and negative to take away on how to handle things and I think there is an opportunity for us to pass on that experience to Guyana to help them see the way forward.
“It’s not just how to develop the industry and region, it’s also how do you prepare for the day when the oil is no longer going to be there and creating an economy that’s not 100% dependent on oil and gas.
“A lot of the work that I do is to support the UK companies who are looking to come out and we have seen a huge uptick in the number of firms since I arrived in 2015. It’s skyrocketed.
“The bottom line is if there is a company here in Aberdeen that is looking for an opportunity to get into business in Guyana, we should be their first port of call.”