San Francisco: The find offshore Guyana that has ratcheted up tensions with that country’s neighbour Venezuela could contain oil and gas resources worth 12 times the current value of Guyana’s economic output, according to a Bloomberg report.
The field, explored and developed by US giant Exxon, sparked a renewal of a historic territorial row between the South American countries with Venezuela – already an established oil industry player and OPEC member – restating a claim that goes back to the early 19th century.
Exxon is drilling in the so-called Stabroek Block, around 120 miles off the coast of Guyana, which is a former British colony and the only English-speaking country in South America.
The Liza-1 well probably holds the equivalent of more than 700 million barrels of oil and may begin producing crude by the end of the decade, according to Bloomberg.
Guyana produces no oil and its gross domestic product is $3.23 billion.
In June Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced his country’s intention to annex Guyanese maritime space. The controversy centres on land to the west of Guyana’s Essequibo River, encompassing around two-thirds of the whole country. It includes adjacent waters that encompass the current oil prospect.