Guyana’s Finance Minister on Monday presented a national budget of GY$781.9 billion (US$3.75 billion) for the fiscal year 2023, of which oil revenues will contribute 26.7%.
The Minister said that GY$208.9 billion (US$1 billion) is legally allowable for withdrawal from the Natural Resource Fund to support the 2023 budget. This is based on a formula outlined in the Natural Resource Fund Law that ties withdrawals for any fiscal year, to earnings from the prior year. The Fund had closed 2022 with about US$1.27 billion in its New York Federal Reserve account.
In comparison, the 2022 budget, the first to utilise oil revenues, was so constituted up to 23%. The Parliament had approved GY$552.9 billion (US$2.65 billion), with approximately GY$126.68 billion (US$607.6 million) coming from the Natural Resource Fund.
The petroleum sector is also poised for more significant growth in 2023. The Stabroek Block is forecasted to produce oil at an average rate of 374,000 bpd. The sector’s growth is projected to be 35.6% in 2023.
Dr. Singh said 136 lifts of crude are expected, with 17 to be set aside for the Guyana government. This is projected to result in deposits to the Natural Resource Fund of US$1.406 million in profit oil and US$225.2 million in royalties in 2023.
The Payara project is expected to come online in 2023. The Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel will set sail for Guyana from Singapore soon. And when it does, crude output capacity will move from 360,000 bpd to 580,000 bpd in the second half of the year. ExxonMobil is operator of all the projects.
Oil will continue to fuel the growth of Guyana’s economy, Singh explained. Real gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to increase 25.1% this year. Dr. Singh said this places Guyana among the top five fastest growing economies in 2023. He noted however that Guyana’s non-oil economy is also expected to grow commendably, at 7.9%.