A recent Exxon Mobil oil find in Guyana could be worth 12 times more than that nation’s GDP.

According to Bloomberg, the company’s May find at the Liza-1 well in offshore Guyana could be worth about $40 billion at current international crude prices, an amount that’s about 12 times larger than Guyana’s GDP.

“A find of this magnitude for a country like ours, which sits on the lower end of the scale of countries in this hemisphere, this could be transformational. From my sense, from speaking to experts outside of Exxon, it has to be something in excess of 700 million barrels,” Guyana’s minister of governance Raphael Trotman told the news agency.

According to the World Bank, Guyana had a GDP of $3.228 billion in 2014.

Exxon declined to comment on Trotman’s estimate.

The company has not yet disclosed a resource estimate for the find.

Liza-1 was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana in the Stabroek Block and encountered more than 295 feet of “high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs.”

“I am encouraged by the results of the first well on the Stabroek Block. Over the coming months we will work to determine the commercial viability of the discovered resource, as well as evaluate other resource potential on the block,” ExxonMobil Exploration Company president Stephen M. Greenlee said when the find was announced.

The well data will be analyzed in the coming months to better determine the full resource potential.

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana holds 45 percent interest.

Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 percent interest.


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