Guyana is projected to become the highest per capita oil producer in the world by 2035, according to Latin American strategic market research firm, Americas Market Intelligence (AMI).
AMI held a virtual webinar on Wednesday on advancing low carbon strategies in the petroleum sectors of Guyana and Suriname.
The company’s energy practice co-director Arthur Deakin made the comment, based on a projection of Guyana’s production levels.
He said Guyana could be producing 1.4 million barrels of oil per day by 2035.
This is consistent with ExxonMobil’s aggressive production goals. The Stabroek block operator, which has already started producing from the estimated 10 billion barrels discovered there, intends to have six floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels operating the block by 2027.
It sees potential for as many as 10 FPSOs in the Stabroek block in the next 10 years, and enjoys the support of the government in this regard.
Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has said government intends to produce aggressively to earn revenues to develop the country before the energy transition phases out fossil fuels.
Already, one project is on stream with nameplate capacity of 120,000 barrels of oil per day. All three of its announced upcoming projects have nameplates each above 200,000 barrels per day.
With just four projects, ExxonMobil would be producing over 800,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025, leaving AMI’s projection well within the realm of plausibility.
Other countries, like the United States, have produced much more oil than 1.4 million barrels per day. However, Guyana is top of the pile on a per capita basis, because of its very small population.
Features that make Guyana attractive include the very low breakeven costs associated with the production of the country’s crude, which are in the range of US$25 and US$35, some of the lowest in the world.
Guyana’s oil is also light (meaning low density) and sweet (low sulphur content), which makes it not just cheap to produce, but less dirty than other fossil fuels.
ExxonMobil has already confirmed that Guyana’s resource estimate has exceeded 10 billion oil-equivalent barrels. The Stabroek block could have 10 billion more.
Deakin said that 20 per cent of the 10 billion barrels estimate is gas, adding that AMI sees Guyana becoming a gas exporting hub for CARICOM.
“Gas is going to be a tremendous monetisation opportunity in Guyana,” he said.
Ambassador Rudy Insanally, a career diplomat, participated in the AMI discussion.
He said there is great excitement in Guyana about the opportunities the industry provides, but due to longstanding societal issues and the experiences of other countries, there is apprehension too.
Insanally said the PPP/C Government recognises the challenges that exist and has an ambitious agenda to iron them out.