Guyana will be carbon negative even when producing oil at 1.5 million b/d – Jagdeo

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Kemol King
Kemol King is a journalist with six years of experience in Guyana's media landscape. He covers the oil & gas sector and its impact on the country's development.

Even with world-leading per capita oil production aspirations, the Guyana government believes the country can keep its long-standing environmental credentials. According to Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, “We will remain carbon negative even when we are producing 1.5 million barrels per day.” 

He made this projection even while noting that Guyana continues to battle accusations, which he finds unfair, about the impact of offshore petroleum operations on the environment.

The Vice President gave the opening address during the second day of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo 2024 in Georgetown. 

With six oil projects lined up to operate simultaneously by 2027, Guyana’s oil production trajectory is well on the way to exceeding 1.3 million barrels per day (b/d). With a seventh potential oil project in contemplation, the likelihood is there for oil production to surpass 1.5 million b/d. 

The Vice President’s comment is based on the carbon sequestration value of Guyana’s forests. The idea is that all the carbon emissions generated from offshore petroleum operations and onshore industrial operations would not be higher than the volume of carbon captured and stored by Guyana’s green lungs. Successive environmental impact assessments (EIA) executed during the review processes for Exxon’s offshore projects have demonstrated this fact.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, said in a speech following Jagdeo, “We intend to maintain that status [being one of the few countries in the world that is carbon negative]…” 

Guyana has been able to develop forest-based carbon credits for sale internationally. Jagdeo said Guyana’s carbon credits, being certified by Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART), are among the most robust in the world. Guyana is advocating for greater global recognition for the role played by highly forested countries in the journey to net zero, through the regularization of markets for the sale of credits. 

Following the announcement of the certification of some of Guyana’s credits by ART, Hess Corporation committed to purchasing 12.5 million credits for the years 2016-2030, in a deal valued at least US$750 million. With payments already kicked off more than a year ago for 2021-2025 credits, Guyana is dedicating the funds to low-carbon projects and climate adaptation and mitigation measures. With 15% of these receipts set aside for indigenous communities in hinterland regions, Jagdeo said more than 811 projects have been implemented in 242 indigenous villages. 

The execution of the Hess transactions is expected to continue as additional credits are certified by ART. Jagdeo said the certification of the 2021-2025 credits is weeks away.

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