South America’s Smaller & Emerging Oil & Gas Producers

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Political developments have changed the outlook in many of South America’s smaller and emerging oil and gas producers.

In December, the first shipment of oil departed Guyana, where production is set to surge to 750,000 barrels per day by 2025, and concerns about resource governance intermingle with questions about whether the results of elections in March will lead to renegotiated contracts or other policy changes.

In January, Suriname announced a major discovery adjacent to Guyana’s deposits. But worries about corruption persist in Suriname, and a presidential election is due in May.

The end of 2019 was marked by political turmoil in much of the rest of South America, with mass demonstrations over corruption, inequality, and the cost of living dominating headlines in the region. The sociopolitical movements sweeping these countries have created uncertainty over their future leadership and stances toward hydrocarbon development.

In Bolivia, claims of fraud in the presidential election sent protesters from both sides into the streets and caused President Evo Morales to flee the country and an interim government to declare new elections for May.

The removal of a decades-old fuel subsidy in Ecuador sparked a social upheaval that briefly drove the government from Quito to Guayaquil and ultimately killed the proposed measure.

Amid congressional gridlock over his proposed anti-corruption reforms, President Martín Vizcarra dissolved Peru’s parliament and called for early elections, and protesters blocked roads leading to oil and gas projects, expressing their discontent over the treatment of local communities.

Join this Petroleum & Politics Lunch with the Inter-American Dialogue for a discussion, co-hosted with the Inter-American Dialogue, that will focus on how political developments will affect the upstream oil and gas picture in South America’s smaller and emerging producers.


Inter-American Dialogue
1155 15th Street NW, Suite 800
Washington DC 20005

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