Will Guyana’s oil boom benefit Guyanese?

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In 2018 Guyana was slated to be the highest per capita oil producing nation in the world, higher than Kuwait which then was the world’s highest. Oil companies have been rewarded with identifying massive off-shore reserves, estimated in 2018 to be about four billion barrels that could be extracted.  In 2021 the government boasts of about 13-14 billion barrels of oil. By no ordinary measure Guyana is a resource rich nation, albeit oil and gas being non-renewable.

Prior to August 2020 there was much civic activism about the extraction of oil and gas, ensuring Guyana does not get the proverbial short side of the stick, the extraction is done in an environmentally and sustainable manner, and the profits that resulted from the sale of the product benefit Guyanese. Does similar activism exist in 2021 for the benefit of all Guyanese are the best judge.

Take a listen to this 2018 Al Jazeera interview discussing whether the oil boom would benefit Guyanese. The panel comprised Imran Khan, then Head of the Department of Public Information; Christopher Ram, Accountant, attorney-at-law and social commentator; Lisa Sachs, Director, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment; and Dr. Jan Mangal, former petroleum advisor to  President David A. Granger.

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