Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Oil, the environment and the region*

Earlier this month Exxon announced that it had made a major new oil find off Guyana. It was, Exxon said, the largest since it began exploration there in 2015. The company’s statement followed one last June advising of a “world-class discovery” on another well, and before that, announcements about four other commercially exploitable finds.
What this and Exxon’s recent request to the Guyanese government for permission to drill up to 40 new wells after 2022 suggests, is that the country is about to become a major oil producer in the Western Hemisphere.  Although various groups within Guyana have expressed concern about aspects of the country’s first revenue-related petroleum agreement with Exxon, and there are uncertainties about the extent to which Guyana will see downstream investments, the finds are expected to have a transformational effect when oil begins to flow in 2020.

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