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Guyana pledges to balance oil investment with local growth demands

02/15/2022 | 12:22pm EDT

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Guyana's President Irfaan Ali on Tuesday defended his country's right to develop its oil industry for securing energy resources and benefits for its population while insisting laws requiring local goods and services are not meant to block investments.

A string of discoveries off its coast is on the verge of turning the tiny South American country into an oil powerhouse. International producers, led by Exxon Mobil Corp, have found more than 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas that are poised to reshape the impoverished nation of fewer than 800,000 people.

Residents are calling on the government to secure tangible benefits from the oil projects. In a tumultuous session at the country's National Assembly, a bill was passed in December requiring between 5% and 100% of local content in activities by contractors and licensees.

Pressure is building over oil companies operating in Guyana, especially the Exxon consortium, which has said it could produce 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2025.

"We welcome Exxon. We welcome investments," President Ali said at the inauguration of a week-long energy conference in Georgetown. "Local growth and increased productivity must be built into the system to bring benefit to the people."

Exxon late last year outlined an onshore supply base expected to expand jobs and boost local fabrication starting with its fourth production unit. The project could bring total investment in Guyana to $30 billion. (Reporting by Sabrina Valle, writing by Marianna Parraga Editing by Marguerita Choy)


© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION 1.98% 86.9 Delayed Quote.42.02%
LONDON BRENT OIL 2.22% 112.44 Delayed Quote.41.22%
WTI 3.07% 107.53 Delayed Quote.37.83%
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