The Guyana-Suriname Basin has drawn the world's largest oil companies since Exxon announced in 2015 that it had stumbled on “world class” offshore deposits. Oil production off on Guyana's side of the maritime border has increased to nearly 400,000 barrels a day since it began in 2019, and Exxon says its operations could reach a million barrels daily by 2027.
Exxon has repeatedly maintained that oil spills are unlikely, and that it has set aside a $600 million fund to quickly clean up any damage. Environmentalists have dismissed this as being way too small, and too late.
“We need to implement the plan that I had before I was removed after the 2020 elections — that was to have a unit of up to 36 highly trained experts stationed on board the drill ships and storage vessels monitoring what is going on. That plan has been abandoned and now we are hearing about satellite monitoring. That is not what we need,” Adams said.
Guyanese officials have reported fierce competition for 14 more oil blocks near the consortium’s two Liza fields. Bidding closes in mid April.