Guyana discovered two more large oil deposits offshore, raising its prospects for becoming one of the world’s largest oil producers and overtaking regional competitors such as Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.
The two new deposits, found in Seabob and Kiru-kiru, take the total number of oil discoveries to 38, according to Vikram Bharrat, Guyana’s Minister for Natural Resources.
The tiny country of 750,000 people produces around half a million barrels of oil per day, contributing more than US$1 billion to the government’s coffer annually.
US oil giant ExxonMobil, a dominant private oil producer in Guyana, has discovered an average of one oil deposit every month so far this year.
The new discoveries would enable Guyana to produce more than 1.2 million barrels of oil per day, surpassing some of the region’s large oil producers.
Deposits estimated to contain more than 11 billion barrels of oil have been discovered in Guyana since 2015, which accounts for 32% of all new discoveries made globally during the period, according to consulting firm Rystad.
To lessen its reliance on companies like ExxonMobil, Guyana is holding talks with private oil companies in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE, inviting them to participate in the development of oil and gas resources in the country.
Minister Bharrat promised that the government would use the oil money to bolster infrastructure, as well as education and healthcare services for all Guyanese.