Guyana’s Pending Oil Boom—or Bust

Guyana’s president, David Granger, second left, arrives at Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic, Jan. 24, 2017 (AP photo by Tatiana Fernandez).
Guyana’s president, David Granger, second left, arrives at Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic, Jan. 24, 2017 (AP photo by Tatiana Fernandez).

After years of impoverishment, Guyana is suddenly on the verge of prosperity. Since 2015, a consortium led by Exxon Mobil has developed at least 10 deepwater oil wells off Guyana’s shores, with a combined productive capacity of around 750,000 barrels per day. Exploration is ongoing, with most experts anticipating the country’s oil reserves exceed the current estimate of 5 billion barrels. One way to grasp the magnitude of these discoveries is that in 10 years, Guyana, with a population of slightly less than 800,000, could pump nearly a barrel of oil per person each day—more production on a per capita […]

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