Guyana is about to become a major oil producer.
In August the Liza Destiny floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel reached the Exxon Mobil-operated Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. The FPSO will mine eight wells and yield up to 120,000 gross barrels of oil per day starting next year. After Liza Destiny, ExxonMobil may deploy four more FPSOs to Stabroek and produce more than 750,000 barrels per day of crude by 2025. Besides ExxonMobil, international firms that are also active offshore Guyana include Tullow Oil plc, Total S.A., Hess Corp and Qatar Petroleum.
Revenues from oil production should dramatically enhance Guyana’s economic fortunes and the lives of its 800,000 people. The World Bank reports that the country’s annual gross domestic product growth rate is expected to rise from 4.6 percent this year to 34 percent in 2020.
“Well managed oil revenues can have a transformative and sustainable impact on a country’s development,” Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, said. “Guyana today has an extraordinary opportunity to reduce poverty and bring long-term benefits to its people.”
Through its Guyana Petroleum Resources Governance and Management Project, the World Bank is providing technical assistance to help Guyana’s government develop a legal and regulatory framework to properly manage the pending influx of oil revenues. In effect, the initiative is aimed at helping Guyana to avoid the “resource curse.”