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Guyana's economy has boomed in recent years, aided by the discovery of offshore oil deposits

By Gideon Long

The President of Guyana Irfaan Ali has acknowledged "time is not on our side" as the South American country scrambles to make the most of its newfound oil wealth before it is too late.

Over the past decade, Guyana has found huge amounts of oil and gas under its coastal waters.

It now boasts reserves of about 11 billion barrels. That puts it in the top 20 in terms of its potential, on a par with countries such as Norway, Brazil and Algeria.