How Fracking Helped the U.S. Become the World’s Top Oil Producer

Over the last decade, the US has become the top producer of crude oil globally, thanks in part to hydraulic fracturing in shale formations.
The US overtook Saudi Arabia and Russia in oil production in 2018, accounting for 14.7% of global crude oil production in 2022.
Despite leading in production, the US still trails in remaining proven reserves underground, ranking seventh globally behind countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

ExxonMobil Begins Offshore Drilling in Guyana Amid Venezuela Tensions

Exxon Mobil Corp. has outlined its intention to proceed with the drilling of two exploration wells offshore Guyana within the current year, despite the proximity of these drilling sites to a region that is subject to dispute with Venezuela. The oil conglomerate is poised to conduct drilling operations west of the Liza field, an area already yielding oil, and situated closer to the border shared with Venezuela. Notably, Exxon Mobil asserts that the ongoing territorial dispute does not impede its plans for exploration and drilling activities in the region.

Oil, Eni ready to sign a contract in Venezuela

For the next decade, Latin America is likely to maintain its predominant role in the oil sector. Unlike past years, it can now count on Venezuela’s return to international markets, as the Biden administration has decided to lift the sanctions in force since 2019. This decision is mainly conditioned on the holding of transparent and democratic elections by 2024. This agreement will allow Venezuela to exploit its immense resources, represented by 303 billion barrels and over 5 billion of cubic feet of natural gas, ranking as the largest reserve in the world. Major international companies are already looking to seize this opportunity, including Eni and Repsol, which are currently finalizing the details of a contract with Petróleos de Venezuela Sa (Pdvsa), the state-owned company. As reported by Bloomberg, negotiations are at an advanced stage, and an agreement is expected to be reached by the end of the month.

Would the U.S. Intervene to Defend Guyana’s Oil Riches?

The escalating Venezuela-Guyana dispute could provide an opportunity for the AUKUS alliance to intervene in the region and counter the influence of China, Russia, and Iran.
US Southern Command has conducted joint operations with the Guyana Defense Forces and the U.S. has said it would support Guyana’s sovereignty.
Geopolitical maneuvering by China, Iran, and Russia has fueled tensions in the region, and with a presidential election looming in Venezuela, the stakes are only getting higher