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The World’s Newest Oil Boom Gets Another Twist

Refinery

In our columns, we have analyzed on several occasions the astounding rise of Guyana, arguably the hottest spot for oil drilling in the past couple of years. Almost every single exploration well spudded in the South American country’s offshore yielded a significant oil discovery, boosting Guyana’s already impressive portfolio of projects in the pipe. Yet Guyana’s forthcoming ascent is inextricably linked to its political life, a microcosmos replete with stories of ignominy and disunity, reflecting the hardships of poverty-stricken life in the country. With a prolonged political impasse stirring up tensions in Guyana, ExxonMobil and its partners are waiting it out, until the dust settles.

The ongoing political deadlock saw its culmination a month ago when the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled that the no-confidence vote which the government led by David Granger lost in December 2018 (one of MPs from the governing party voted with the opposition, tilting the balance against the government that held a one-seat majority all along) was perfectly legal and that Guyana should see new elections before September 18, 2019. It took more than a month after the CCJ ruling to nominate a new head of the Elections Commission. Generally speaking the past weeks were marred by almost all possible forms of foot-dragging and almost childish finger-pointing.

In a telling illustration of just how odd things in Guyana might go, look no further than the country’s…




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