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Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has dramatically raised the stakes in his country’s border dispute with Guyana, ordering state companies to exploit contested oil and mineral deposits and redrawing official maps after claiming an “overwhelming” mandate in a referendum last Sunday. Maduro’s bellicose speeches have alarmed Guyana and sparked fears that Venezuela might use force to seize the remote Essequibo area, which accounts for two-thirds of its neighbour’s territory, as well as a big offshore oilfield operated by US oil major ExxonMobil. Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali late on Tuesday said his country’s defence force was “on high alert” and promised to refer the matter to the UN Security Council.
The energy industry has been in a phase of transition over the past year as many high-flying pandemic stocks fall to earth and the market grapples with the future of electricity prices and electric vehicle sales. After a terrible 2023, renewable energy stocks SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) and NextEra Energy Partners (NYSE: NEP) are well positioned for a recovery in 2024, and even an oil company like ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) looks like a great buy. Higher interest rates hit the solar industry hard in 2023.