As Guyana prepares for its budding oil and gas industry, the Government is looking to capitalise on the State of Qatar’s vast expertise in the petroleum sector.This was indicated by President David Granger as he accepted the Letter of Credence from the new non-resident Qatari Ambassador to Guyana, Ahmed Ibrahim Abdulla Al-Abdulla.President David Granger with the newly-accredited Qatari Ambassador to Guyana Ahmed Ibrahim Abdulla Al-Abdulla, along with Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Karen Cummings (left) and Director General at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Audrey Waddell (right)In his remarks, the Head of State lauded the existing bilateral relation between the two countries and at the same time, suggests new fields of cooperation, such as the energy sector.“Guyana is keen on enhancing partnerships with experienced oil producers such as Qatar. I am confident that your appointment as Ambassador will provide opportunities for fruitful discussions and exchanges in the oil and gas sectors of both our countries,” President Granger asserted.The Middle Eastern nation, which has oil reserves of over 20 billion barrels and an advanced economy, has long expressed interest in Guyana’s budding oil and gas sector. In fact, the State-owned Qatar Petroleum has bought a percentage of French oil major, Total’s share of its existing interests in the Orinduik and Kanuku blocks offshore Guyana.The Orinduik oil block is just a few kilometres from Exxon’s discoveries in the Liza and Payara fields.Eco Guyana and United Kingdom’s Tullow Oil signed a 10-year Petroleum Prospecting licence and Production Sharing Agreement with Guyana in 2016 for the Orinduik block. French firm Total E&P Activities Petrolieres entered the fray in 2017, partnering with Eco with the option to get a 25 per cent share in the block.Qatar Petroleum has since reported in July that it struck a deal to acquire 40 per cent of Total’s 25 per cent participating interest in the Orinduik block, and 40 per cent of Total’s 25 participating interest in the neighbouring Kanuku block.However, Director of the Energy Department, Dr Mark Bynoe, has said that they are yet to receive the necessary documents regarding this farm-in deal from Total.Meanwhile, the other partners in the Orinduik Block, Tullow holds a 60 per cent participating interest, while Eco Atlantic has 15 per cent interest.At present, Tullow has made at least two oil finds: in its Jethro and Joe wells. On September 16, the same day that ExxonMobil announced its 14th oil find, the British company revealed that it had made its second oil find in just a matter of weeks – 14 metres of oil reservoirs at the Joe well.Meanwhile, Repsol Exploration, a Spanish oil company, last month commenced drilling in the Kanuku Block at the Carapa 1 well site, which will conclude on November 30, 2019.Nevertheless, at Wednesday’s accreditation ceremony, President Granger noted that another new area he wants to explore cooperation with Qatar is tourism.This comes some two weeks after Guyana signed an Air Services Agreement with Qatar to promote and facilitate airlines of Guyana and Qatar to operate any number of services between both countries as well as beyond to any third country, with no restrictions on capacity, frequency, aircraft type and routing.According to the Guyanese Head of State, this agreement will pave the way for future cooperation in investment, enhanced trade, air travel and the movement of people.“Guyana welcomes this important milestone and remains committed to working with the Government of Qatar to enhance air connectivity in an effort to link the Caribbean and the Middle East. I wish to convey Guyana’s interest in deepening cooperation with Qatar in trade, capacity building and education,” he added.Meanwhile, the newly-accredited Qatari Diplomat conveyed wishes from the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani.“His Highness Tamim has instructed me to assure you, Your Excellency, of his willingness to develop and strengthen ties between our countries in all fields of cooperation to benefit both of our countries and people. Despite the geographic difference between the State of Qatar and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, the two countries have excellent relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations between them,” the Qatari envoy noted.Ambassador Ahmed Ibrahim Abdulla Al-Abdulla is currently posted in neighbouring Brazil. Guyana and Qatar established diplomatic ties some 23 years ago, in August 1996.