Remi Piet: Guyana Could be the New Qatar in Energy

Energy Investing

Remi Piet of AMI talks all things resources and politics in the Guianas, where oil is set to join gold as a major export.

Despite being lumped together geographically and by name, the three Guianas of South America would be hard pressed to be more different than one another.

Guyana (formerly British Guiana), Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana) and French Guiana have all followed different paths in economic and political development through the years, with each of them presenting their own unique opportunities and challenges for investors in 2019.

Speaking with the Investing News Network, Remi Piet, senior director at Americas Market Intelligence, talked about the current situation on the ground, and the potential future of all three territories.

First off, in Guyana, major oil company Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has major interests in offshore drilling, which Piet said have the potential to make the country “the new Qatar.”

“(ExxonMobil) is planning to produce 120,000 barrels of oil per day, starting in 2020. That means that (Guyana) is going to go from underdevelopment, to an extreme level of economic growth which it has probably not foreseen, and its domestic institutions are not ready for such a change in terms of its economic development path.”

Piet spoke about the political ramifications of the discovery and the path ahead of Guyana when it comes to future development — all set to a backdrop of schemes and dealings in Georgetown, the capital, where, according to Piet, there are allegations a politician took a US$1 million bribe to switch allegiances and bring down the government.

“That example shows you the kind of politics and corruption that exists in Guyana — a country which is probably one of the least developed in the western hemisphere,” said Piet.

Next door to Guyana lies Suriname, where mining has made global news following the death of an illegal miner on an operational site owned by Canadian mid-tier producer IAMGOLD (TSX:IMG,NYSE:IAG). The company has seen flow-on effects in revised guidances and dismissed contractors.

Piet said that what sets Suriname apart from its neighbors to the east and west is the presence of large operators, and its leader — Desi Bouterse — who has close ties with the “informal” mining industry.

Finally, Piet talked about the situation in French Guiana, where the industry is bound by the regulations of the European Union, and where French politics loom large.

Listen to the interview above for more insights on the diverse range of scenarios seen in the Guianas.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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