Guyana's oil exports jumped 164% last year, boosted by growing output and demand for the newest Latin American oil producer's light sweet crudes, particularly in Europe, where thirsty refiners ramped up imports to replace Russian supplies.
Since a consortium led by Exxon Mobil began pumping in late 2019, Guyana's shipments have soared, bringing the South American nation's oil export income to $1.1 billion last year, according to official figures provided to Reuters.
The government's $1.1 billion share of oil revenue was up sharply from a combined $409 million in profit and royalties in 2021. High global prices pushed its take above the country's initial revenue forecast of $958 million.
Guyana, among the smallest and most underdeveloped nations in South America, plans to use its oil wealth to industrialize, adding a gas-fired power plant, new roads and solar energy projects.
Following the startup of Exxon's second floating production vessel last February, output ramped up and exports flowed as European refiners were searching for alternatives to Russian oil in the aftermath of the Ukraine invasion.
Guyana is producing about 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and aims to raise output to 1.64 million bpd by end of the decade.
Guyana's exports averaged 265,693 bpd last year, more than double the 100,645 bpd in 2021, according to shipping data from Refinitiv Eikon. Europe was the largest receiver, taking 49% of cargoes. Its volumes outpaced Asia, which had been the first destination previously, taking 34% last year.
Buyer list expands
Producers also found new customers for the country's two crude grades, shipping over 6 million barrels to neighboring Brazil, the data showed.
The Guyanese government last year received 13 cargoes out of the about 100 exported. Total exports represented over $8 million in gross oil revenue, based on Reuters calculations.
In November, Guyana awarded BP a 12-month contract to market the government's share of crude. Its Natural Resources Fund ended 2022 with a balance of $1.43 billion, more than double the $607.6 million at the end of the previous year, according to official figures.
(Reuter - Reporting by Marianna Parraga and Neil Marks in Georgetown; editing by David Evans)