Guyana and Suriname have emerged as the two most exciting oil-producing provinces of the Latin America and Caribbean region. But with renewed calls for a quick transition to renewables given the troubling impacts of climate change over the last decade, a cloud of worry has overshadowed conversations about the path forward for these two nations.
For the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Staatsolie, Rudolf Elias, he believes that industry stakeholders ought not to worry about Guyana or Suriname’s oil and gas assets becoming stranded as the rich characteristics of the resources in both CARICOM sister countries will allow their industries to last for the next century.
During a recent interview on local radio show, Guyana’s Oil and You, Elias said, “Nowadays everybody talks about renewables, and everybody talks about the transition and the fact that oil and coal are finite in the energy mix… But Suriname and Guyana have a lot of nice, clean, light oils and we have a lot of gas, so I think if you ask me, both Suriname and Guyana will be producers of oil for the coming 100 years.”
Elias argued that the “sweet characteristics” of the reservoirs for both nations, along with the fact that they are low-cost producers, will help them to ride the transition tide. The former CEO of Staatsolie said he is all for supporting the move towards renewables and for Guyana and Suriname to examine ways on how they can contribute to that. The reality, however, is that world population is climbing and so too will the need for fossil fuel products, Elias pointed out.
In fact, Elias, also the former Vice President of Development at BHP Billiton Suriname shared the view that demand for fossil fuels is likely to peak between 2030 and 2050. With this in mind, he said Guyana and Suriname can take advantage of that given their basin potential while adding that a portion of the proceeds should be allocated towards the preservation of biodiversity which will play a key role in the environmental conditions left behind for the survival of future generations.