The discovery of a massive trove of oil off its shores, including two finds just this week, puts Guyana on the cusp of becoming one of the world’s wealthiest nations, in the league of petro-states like Qatar. Since 2016, Exxon has made a dozen discoveries in Guyana that now total more than 5 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.
This is enormous — for perspective, the industry calls a 1-billion-barrel field a “supergiant.” Guyana seems wholly unprepared for the avalanche of cash coming its way. It’s in political turmoil, with no plan in place for how to marshal and distribute the money among a population of just 780,000 people. Exxon plans to begin producing 120,000 barrels a day next year, and to bump that up six times to 750,000 by 2025.
At $60 a barrel, and a roughly 50-50 split of profits with Exxon, Guyana could receive a bonanza of more than $5 billion a year in revenue.
Given how fast energy is changing and an industry-wide push to pull as much oil out of the ground as possible as fast as possible, experts think the company is likely to push production to 1 million barrels a day.
At that production or larger, Guyana could receive $10 billion a year.