Guyana's President David Granger said oil production will be a "transformative process in the country's economic development."
United States oil company ExxonMobil announced Friday the start of crude production off the coast of Guyana, where the company has made a number of major discoveries in recent years.
Exxon reported that production is scheduled to reach 120,000 barrels per day in the coming months, however, it expects to increase production to over 750,000 barrels per day by 2025. Guyana is a major focus in the company's area of operation, and development is scheduled to make the South American nation the world's newest substantial oil producer.
“Petroleum production has brought the prospects of a higher quality of life closer to our households and neighborhoods. It is a momentous event,” President DavidGranger said. “Every Guyanese will benefit from petroleum production. No one will be left behind.”
The oil company heads a consortium that also includes Hess Corp. and CNOOC Ltd. of China.
On the other hand, there are questions about how the country's revenues will be managed, and some critics see Guyana's deal with Exxon as tilted in the company's favor.
According to Bloomberg, "while the country has established a sovereign wealth fund, it has been slow to develop regulations to govern the oil sector and there is no set plan for how the money will be spent.
Granger said oil production will be a "transformative process in the country's economic development," providing jobs, better services, and more benefits.
He also said the government will employ best practices as it develops the "institutional, legislative and regulatory capacity" to oversee the sector and prudently manage revenues.
Exxon's Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods said they are working with the Guyanese government on a "long-term vision of responsible resource development that maximizes benefits for all."