Guyana Surpasses Venezuela in Oil Exports Amid Border Dispute

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Oil rig operation off Guyana

In a significant turn of events in the South American oil landscape, Guyana has outstripped Venezuela in oil exports for the third consecutive month, signaling a shift in the region’s energy dynamics. According to data compiled by Bloomberg based on vessel movements, Guyana’s daily oil exports reached 621,000 barrels in February, surpassing Venezuela’s exports of 604,000 barrels.

This development comes amidst a longstanding border dispute between the two nations over the Essequibo region, a dispute that has gained renewed attention following the discovery of massive oil basins off the coast of Guyana. These discoveries have attracted substantial investments from global energy giants, including Exxon Mobil Corp, propelling Guyana from a non-oil-producing nation to a significant player in the global oil market in just three years.

Venezuela, despite housing the world’s largest oil reserves, has seen its oil production decline sharply due to US sanctions aimed at ousting President Nicolas Maduro. Although the recent easing of sanctions has allowed Venezuela’s oil production to rebound to a four-year high, it remains well below the levels seen before the imposition of sanctions.

Guyana’s ascendancy in the oil market is underscored by the commencement of production from its third oil development project, Payara, operated by Exxon. On January 31, Guyana reported a production rate of 637,000 barrels, marking a rapid rise in its oil production capabilities.

This shift in oil export rankings between Venezuela and Guyana highlights the changing dynamics in the global oil market and the geopolitical implications of energy resources in the region. The ongoing border dispute, coupled with Guyana’s rising prominence as an oil exporter, underscores the complexities between natural resource wealth and international relations in South America.

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