ExxonMobil discovers more oil off Guyana's coast

<p><p>SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — ExxonMobil said Wednesday that it made two additional oil discoveries off the coast of Guyana as the South American country prepares to become the world’s newest major oil producer.</p></p><p><p>The discoveries occurred in an area where officials believe they can extract at least 10 billion oil-equivalent barrels.</p></p><p><p>The company said a vessel that arrived in Guyana late last year is expected to start production in upcoming months with a target of up to 220,000 barrels of oil a day. Officials said another vessel will start production in 2024.</p></p><p><p>Guyana issued its first oil and gas license to ExxonMobil in 2017 after the company said it made “significant” oil discoveries off the country’s Atlantic coast.</p></p><p><p>The deal is expected to generate up to $5 billion a year for Guyana.</p></p><p><p>ExxonMobil began exploring for oil and gas near Guyana in 2008 and drilled its first exploration well in 2015.</p></p><p><p>It is working with three partners: Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, an operator that holds 45% interest, Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd., which holds 30% interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, which holds 25% interest.</p></p><p><p>The recent oil discoveries have reignited a decades-old border dispute with neighboring Venezuela, which claims ownership of waters that various companies are exploring for oil.</p></p><p><p>The government of Guyana, which depends on products like gold, rice, sugar and bauxite, has pledged free education, free cooking gas and cheap gasoline with the anticipated oil revenues.</p></p>