New oil producer Guyana has been rapidly adding barrels to its discovered resources since 2015 catapulting the country to the number three position for proven oil reserves in the Latin America-Caribbean region.
Crude oil reserves in Venezuela amounted to nearly 304 billion barrels in 2021. In addition to being the undisputed leader in Latin America, the country also boasted the largest crude oil reserves worldwide. Brazil followed in the region, although by a large margin, with 12.7 billion barrels.
Since its first world-class discovery in Guyana in 2015, ExxonMobil has made over 22 discoveries amounting to approximately 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources, placing Guyana at the number three position in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ecuador comes in 4th with 8.27 billion barrels, followed by Mexico – 5.79 billion barrels, Argentina – 2.48 billion barrels and Colombia – 2.04 billion barrels.
Other countries coming in below the 1-billion-barrel mark are Peru – 0.86, Bolivia – 0.24, Trinidad and Tobago – 0.24, Chile – 0.15 and Cuba – 0.09.
Oil reserves in Central and South America have remained relatively stable in the past decade, at an average of 51 billion metric tons, or roughly 375 billion barrels. Due in large part to Venezuela’s contribution, the region accounts for roughly one fifth of proven global reserves, ranking only behind the Middle East. Despite its potential, however, it reported the lowest share of global oil production in 2019, with a participation of less than seven percent. Only one country in the region – Brazil – ranked among the world’s top ten oil-producing countries that year.
While it holds the largest proved oil reserves, Venezuela ranked fifth in Latin America and the Caribbean based on petroleum production, trailing behind countries like Colombia and Argentina.
Meanwhile new deepwater hotspot Suriname, like Guyana, has also been enjoying a string of discoveries offshore. 2020 has been the most successful year to date for the country, particularly at block 58 where Apache and TotalEnergries have made 4 discoveries. In Block 52, Petronas and ExxonMobil have so far made one discovery, making the total oil strikes offshore so far, 5. Analysts have said the country’s discovered resources to date exceed 1.4 billion barrels.