GEORGETOWN, March 2 The South American nation of
Guyana could send future oil production to Trinidad and Tobago
or Suriname for refining, a government official said on
Exxon Mobil Corp and partner companies say they have
found between 800 million and 1.4 billion barrels of oil off the
coast of Guyana, with production expected for 2020.
"We recently had some overtures made by the government of
Trinidad and Tobago ... they are operating right now below
optimum and they are importing oil from Nigeria," Natural
Resources Minister Raphael Trotman told reporters.
"Suriname has also indicated a willingness to do refining
for Guyana. Why? Because they too have a refinery which is
performing under par."
Guyana, which currently does not produce oil, is considering
whether it would make economic sense to build its own refinery,
The crude discovery triggered a diplomatic dispute with
neighboring Venezuela, which lays claim to a portion of Guyana
as part of a long-standing border dispute. Guyana says the
countries' border was settled over a century ago.
Venezuela has in the past supplied crude to Petrotrin's
168,000-barrel-per-day Pointe-a-Pierre refinery in Trinidad, but
is no longer doing so amid ongoing oilfield production problems.
(Reporting by Neil Marks; Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing
by Sandra Maler)