Guyana has officially become an oil-producing nation with first oil coming to the surface today.
President David Granger in an address to the nation this evening announced the start of petroleum production.
“I have been advised that petroleum production is about to commence – three months ahead of the original schedule. Guyana has become a petroleum-producing state”, the President said in his address.
To celebrate the start of oil production in Guyana, President Granger issued a proclamation declaring the 20th December as ‘National Petroleum Day.’
He said the proclamation will remind all Guyanese “of our duty to protect the country’s patrimony and to ensure the sustainable management of finite hydrocarbon resources.”
According to the President, petroleum production will be a transformative process in the country’s economic development and the petroleum sector will stimulate increased employment and expand services”.
The Government, he said, will unveil a ‘Decade of Development, 2020-2029’ aimed at ensuring that petroleum resources will be utilized to provide the ‘good life’ for all.
“The ‘Decade’ is a ten-year plan to intensify development and improve citizens’ quality of life. Every Guyanese will benefit from petroleum production. No one will be left behind. Your Government has taken steps to safeguard the national interest”, President Granger assured.
The President in his address also made it clear that his government will manage petroleum revenues prudently to ensure fiscal discipline, financial sector stability, sustainable levels of public debt and low inflation.
He said “withdrawals from the ‘Fund’ will follow a balanced approach, prioritising investment in public education, public health, public infrastructure, public security, social protection and other social services and will support private sector development”.
Mr. Granger stated that petroleum production has brought the prospects of a higher quality of life closer to households and neighbourhoods across Guyana and it is a momentous event.
“Guyana’s future is brighter with the beginning of ‘first oil’. The ‘good life’ for everyone beckons. Let us work together to build a happy and prosperous country for the present and future generations”, the President said.
With the start of oil production, Guyana is set to see major economic growth in 2020. Most financial analysts have pegged economic growth to be more than 80% in the first year of petroleum production.