December 2019 saw the introduction of oil production in Guyana resulting in the goods trade balance moving from a deficit of US$627 million or 12.1% of GDP in the first half of 2019 to a surplus of US$143 million or 2.8% of GDP in the same period in 2020. Crude oil also contributed US$452 million to Guyana’s total export value over the same period.

This is according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in its most recent summary document on Guyana based on the Preliminary Overview of the Economies of the Caribbean 2019–2020 report.

ECLAC said the non-oil sector shrank by 4.9% in the first half of 2020, relative to the same period in 2019.

“The contraction was mainly caused by lower production in services sectors because of lockdown and physical distancing measures,” ECLAC said. “Conversely, the nascent oil sector grew by 45.9%.”

Guyana exported 4 one-million-barrel oil cargoes this year amounting to approximately US$185 million in direct revenue to the State. The country lifted its 4th and final cargo for 2020 on December 8 and the next lift is expected in Q1 2021.

Oil production at the Liza Phase 1 Development reached the full capacity of 120,000 barrels per day earlier this month.