Guyana and ExxonMobil, which is developing the giant oil fields offshore Guyana, on Friday evening celebrated the so-called “first oil,” marking the start of oil production; it is a moment, the acting Prime Minister Khemraj Ramjattan described as one “pregnant with promise” for the country.
Guyana started the production of oil on December 20, 2019, and the celebrations at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, to be followed by fireworks by the country’s Army, comes as ExxonMobil is about to begin loading the first million barrels of oil which it will ship out to its refinery.
The speakers at the Marriott hailed the pace at which Guyana moved from discovery to production, just five years, as remarkable.
“It is a combination of the genius of Exxon and its partners and the decisiveness of our government that we are here moving forward together,” Ramjattan declared.
“We believe that moments like these are rare and must be celebrated. It is a time of national pride and upliftment as well as a time for deep reflection and serious leadership,” Ramjattan added.
The President of ExxonMobil’s Upstream oil and Gas, Liam Mallon, said that extraction in optimum space is key to maximising value, as he pointed to the operations offshore Guyana.
“…four years ago, when we looked at the radar we would see maybe, every now and again, a ship go past.
“Now, it’s like a city lit up at night…it’s incredible,” he stated.
Dr Mark Bynoe, Director of the Department of Energy, noted that it was since 1750 that Dutch explorers sought to find petrochemicals in Guyana, and so, now, after generations of Guyanese and 20 companies have looked for oil, that “dream” is finally realised.
“Now begins the third decade of our new millennia and the march of progress which defies 200 years of failures, the sad mistakes of the past and places us on the brink of greatness with noble responsibility of leading our people into a future of peace, prosperity, professionalism, productivity and positivity,” Dr Bynoe said in a message to those invited to the celebrations.
Rod Henson, President and General Manager of ExxonMobil’s Esso Exploration and Production Guyana, said that reaching this milestone of production is the culmination of strong partnerships working together.
“With 15 discoveries to date, and ongoing exploration and development, we are continuing to partner with Guyana to develop its oi and gas resources in a responsible and mutually beneficial way so that our activities have a positive impact on the people of this country,” said Henson.