Just a few days before US oil major ExxonMobil announced its 11th and 12th discoveries offshore Guyana, Chairman and CEO Darren Woods made an appearance on a quarterly earnings call where he expressed full confidence in the advancement of the company’s exploration and development activities in the South American country.
Woods’ assurance of the company’s continued operations in Guyana comes at a time when an early election is looming due to the passage of a no confidence motion against the government back in December, which is currently engaging the attention of the court.
Woods was asked on the earnings call to share his view about development offshore Guyana given the political uncertainty in the country.
“Frankly, given the discussions that we’ve had since really coming to Guyana with the stakeholders that we’ve got across the political spectrum there, given the discussions about the advantages this development brings and the recognition of those advantages by a very wide constituency in Guyana, we really don’t have any concerns about the political dynamics that are happening there,” he said. “We understand that that’s the nature of governments and countries around the world.”
Guyana is expected to rank among the thirty largest nations for offshore oil services by the 2020’s and has the potential to produce more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day by the mid-2020s if all of the current discoveries are made operational.
“I think it’s important to keep in mind when we go into countries, we go in with a mindset that we’re going to be there for a lifetime, 30 to 40 years. You can’t have a successful development if you’re only talking to a subset or a narrow section of your stakeholder group. So we have been engaged with the sitting government, with the opposition, with communities making sure that the development and what we’re doing is understood and the people are aligned on that,” Woods stated.
The CEO said he believes the opposition understands the value that that development will bring to Guyana and the people of Guyana. “So, I think it’s very consistent with how we think about a long-term approach to engaging with companies and countries,” he added.
Rystad Energy estimates that Guyana could earn over 100 billion US dollars from oil production based on multiple development projects offshore.
Woods’s appearance on the earnings call on Friday followed the company’s report of fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.41 that easily topped the consensus estimate of $1.09.