Guyana’s oil fund hits US$1.42 billion at close of 2022

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Kemol King
Kemol King is an independent journalist with six years of experience in Guyana's media landscape, contributing to OilNOW on a freelance basis. He covers the oil & gas sector and its impact on the country's development.

Guyana’s Central Bank said in a statutory report that the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) closed 2022 with US$1.42 billion (GY$297.38 billion).

This revises an earlier statement from the Ministry of Finance that the Fund closed the year with US$1.27 billion. The increase is owed to the inclusion of two additional profit oil lifts that were made in 2022, for which payment will be made this year. 

The two lifts were sold for US$82.6 million and US$71.9 million; and were scheduled to be received on January 3 and 23, 2023 respectively.

As for investment income, the Fund’s total profit from interest is US$4.19 million (GY$875.34 million).

No royalties were received in December. The next royalty payment is expected at the end of January and would be reflected in the statutory report for the Fund’s January financial position and performance.

The Fund’s December performance allows the government more oil revenues for spending in its 2023 budget. With the previously reported US$1.27 billion closing balance, US$1.01 billion would have been legally allowable as budget support in 2023. The new balance allows the government to withdraw up to US$1.088 billion. This legally allowable amount is determined by a formula in the Natural Resource Fund Act, which ties withdrawals in any year to the total received in the previous year.

Formula Projected withdrawal for 2023 budget
100% of first US$500 million 500 million
75% of second US$500 million 375 million
50% of remaining US$426 million 213 million
TOTAL 1.088 billion

The withdrawal limit for 2023 amounts to approximately US$481 million more than the amount withdrawn in 2022. The government had approved withdrawal of the total balance in the Fund (US$607 million) for the 2022 national budget, due to an exception to the formula, which allowed for this in the first year of the Act’s operation.

Guyana’s revenues in 2022 were constituted by oil sales and royalties from production at ExxonMobil’s Liza projects, and interest income. ExxonMobil operates the Liza projects with a 45% operating interest. Hess and CNOOC hold 30% and 25% respectively.

Guyana receives 50% of the profit oil in lifts and 2% royalty, which is paid quarterly by the Stabroek Block partners.

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