Four years after shipping first barrel, Guyana on its way to big league of top oil producers

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Guyana, a relative newcomer to the global oil industry, is making strides in terms of its oil reserves and production capabilities. Since its first commercial oil discovery in 2015, the country has become a significant player in the sector, boasting substantial reserves and production per capita rankings. 

According to recent data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Guyana is positioned second only to Kuwait for oil reserves per capita. Guyana has surpassed several major oil-producing nations, including Qatar, Oman, and Algeria, despite being relatively new to the industry. 

Furthermore, Guyana’s growth in the oil sector is projected to make it the world’s fourth-largest offshore oil producer by 2035, according to a United Nations report.

In just a few years, Guyana’s oil industry has undergone a dramatic transformation. Propelled by ExxonMobil’s exploration success in the offshore Stabroek Block, Guyana’s oil reserves have reached 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels. The country began oil production in December 2019, and its rapid ascent as a formidable offshore producer is attracting international attention.

The IMF ranks Guyana ninth based on the present value of reserves owned by prominent oil producers as a percentage of their 2021 gross domestic product (GDP). Although Guyana falls behind countries like Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Angola, it is ahead of many established oil producers.

Additionally, Guyana is currently ranked 17th globally in terms of the largest proven petroleum reserves. The country has also claimed the third-highest reserves in the Latin America-Caribbean region and accounts for over 10% of the world’s conventional resource discoveries since 2015.

The newfound wealth from Guyana’s burgeoning oil industry is expected to lead to per capita oil earnings that could surpass those of Qatar, Kuwait, and Norway by 2025, as indicated by Dr. Zainab Usman, a senior fellow and director of the Africa Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C.

By 2025, Guyana is expected to become the world’s largest per capita producer of oil, according to Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) Energy Co-Director, Arthur Deakin. This projection reflects Guyana’s rapid ascent to prominence in the global oil arena and its promising future as a major player in the industry.


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