Guyana prepares for oil as Trinidad fades away

Bert Wilkinson | 11/1/2018, 2 p.m. | Updated on 11/1/2018, 2 p.m.
An interesting development is taking place in relation to oil and gas prosecution in the 15-nation Caribbean Community. For decades, ...
Guyana Public Domain/pixabay.com

An interesting development is taking place in relation to oil and gas prosecution in the 15-nation Caribbean Community.

For decades, Trinidad and Tobago had ruled the roost of nations in the region producing oil both to supply its neighbors and to export farther afield.

But the region’s largest economy has seen such a steady decline in production of offshore wells that authorities are currently preparing for the closure of the bloc’s largest and oldest refinery as daily production has slumped to about 40,000 barrels per day, forcing authorities to import 100,000 simply to make the refinery work for more than a few hours.

But as Trinidad concentrates more on its abundant supply of natural gas, Guyana and Suriname, its neighbors to the south, are engaged in a frenetic effort to kick-start large-scale offshore oil production.

By the first quarter of next year or by the end of 2018, Guyana will become one of the world’s newest oil producers after the 2015 world-class offshore discovery by American oil giant ExxonMobil.

To exploit one of the largest deposits of sweet, light crude anywhere on the globe, Exxon has teamed up with Hess Oil of the U.S. and China in a consortium that is enjoying so much success that the find has served as a magnet for nearly every oil major in the world to apply for a concession or to buy into companies with existing concessions.