ExxonMobil Guyana’s recent breakthrough at the Bluefin well, situated within the Stabroek block offshore Guyana, has sparked widespread interest and debate. This discovery, the company’s first of 2024, adds another layer to the burgeoning oil prospects in the region. However, amidst the excitement, contentious issues surrounding ExxonMobil’s contract with Guyana continue to loom large.

The Bluefin well, positioned approximately 8.5 kilometers southeast of the Sailfin-1 well, has revealed approximately 197 feet (60 meters) of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone. The drilling operation, executed by the Stena Drillmax drillship at a water depth of 4,244 feet (1,294 meters), signifies a significant milestone in Guyana’s oil exploration journey.

Guyana’s oil-rich potential has been underscored by previous discoveries, including those within the Stabroek block dating back to 2015. These findings, coupled with the Bluefin discovery, have fueled optimism about the country’s economic prospects in the oil and gas sector.

However, ExxonMobil’s contract with Guyana has faced intense scrutiny, particularly regarding revenue sharing and environmental safeguards. Critics argue that the contract disproportionately favors ExxonMobil, leaving Guyana with a meager share of project revenue. Weak environmental and fiscal requirements expose the country to potential risks, including pollution and financial vulnerabilities.

The Bluefin discovery presents an opportunity for Guyana to revisit and address these contractual imbalances. As the nation navigates its oil journey, striking a balance between economic gains and responsible resource management remains paramount. Ensuring transparent oversight, robust environmental protections, and equitable revenue sharing will be crucial for Guyana to realize the full benefits of its oil reserves while safeguarding the interests of its citizens.