The sheer magnitude of Guyana’s oil producing potential has been recognised by many international publications and industry experts. With ExxonMobil Guyana expecting to produce over 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025, Guyana will soon become one of the world’s largest oil producing states per capita. Industry analysts say by 2030, oil production is estimated to top one million barrels a day, putting the nation within the realm of the world’s top twenty oil producers.
It is for these reasons that former Energy Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kevin Ramnarine is among those who believe that Guyana has entered a completely new stage of national development.
“Whatever happens, the oil will flow, and Guyana will have entered an oil epoch,” said Ramnarine.
Speaking to Trinidadian newspaper, Newsday, the former Energy Minister said despite the political gridlock Guyana is currently experiencing, oil exploration and drilling will continue.
“The uncertainty has, however, not impeded plans by the oil companies. ExxonMobil is undaunted and is moving forward with plans for first oil from its Liza development in early 2020 and plans for the Liza Phase 2 development are well in train… There are also plans to explore the Kaieteur and Canje Blocks where ExxonMobil is the operator,” he explained.
Ramnarine noted that the presence of multiple operators bodes well for the development of Guyana’s oil industry.
“…Tullow just started its first exploration well at Jethro-Lobe in the Orinduik Block. In September, Spanish giant Repsol will drill its first exploration well in the Kanuku Block. It will be good for Guyana that its offshore acreage has multiple players as opposed to a single dominant operator… In late 2019, it is also expected that CGX, a long-standing explorer of Guyana, and its new partner Fronterra, will drill the Utakwaaka-1 well in the Corentyne Block,” he stated
But Ramnarine cautioned that without the proper national preparations for first oil, Guyanese will not be able to fully capitalize from the industry.
“The country has an infrastructure deficit that needs to be addressed if it is to develop its capacity to support the oil industry and its capacity to build its manufacturing, mining and services sectors. Given the mobility of labour and capital in the Caricom region it is likely that Guyana’s impending boom will draw these resources from other countries,” said Ramnarine.
The former Trinidadian government Minister noted that ultimately, it is up to Guyana to craft a strategy of economic development that adequately suits the needs and goals of the nation.