ExxonMobil said Friday night that the company has begun oil production off the coast of Guyana, where the energy giant has made a string of huge discoveries in recent years.

Why it matters: Guyana is a major focus of Exxon's portfolio, and the development is slated to make the South American nation the world's newest substantial oil producer.

What's next: Exxon said output is slated to reach 120,000 barrels per day in the coming months.

  • The company hopes to ramp up production to more than 750,000 barrels per day by 2025.
  • Exxon heads a consortium that also includes Hess Corp. and China's CNOOC Ltd.

But, but, but: Bloomberg notes there are questions about how the country's revenues will be managed, and as we reported in the Axios Generate newsletter last year, some critics see Guyana's agreement with Exxon as tilted in the company's favor.

"While the country has established a sovereign wealth fund, it has been slow to develop regulations to govern the sector and there’s no set plan on how the money will be spent," Bloomberg reports.

What they're saying: Guyanese President David Granger, in a video address, said oil production will be a "transformative process in the country's economic development," providing jobs, better services and more.

  • He said the government will employ best practices as it builds the "institutional, legislative and regulatory capability" to oversee the sector and prudently manage revenues.
  • Exxon CEO Darren Woods said they're working with the Guyanese on a "long-term vision of responsible resource development that maximizes benefits for all."

Go deeper: The surprising next oil superpower

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 20,158,258 — Total deaths: 738,063 — Total recoveries: 12,388,686Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,116,791 — Total deaths: 164,137 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. States: Florida reports another daily record for deaths State testing plans fall short of demand.
  4. Axios-Ipsos poll: 1 in 2 has a personal connection to COVID-19.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. 🏈 Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season due to coronavirus.

Big Ten postpones fall sports due to coronavirus

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Big Ten announced Tuesday that it has voted to postpone its 2020 fall sports season, including football, due to risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic, hoping instead to play in the spring.

Why it matters: The move from one of the most prominent conferences in college sports will almost certainly prompt other Power Five leagues to follow suit.

13 of Biden's former rivals to appear together at Democratic convention

Democratic presidential candidates at the primary debate in Charleston, SC. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

In a show of unity at the Democratic National Convention, 13 of Joe Biden's former 2020 challengers will appear via video to talk about the party's vision for the country and how they'll work with Biden to get it done.

Why it matters: Coalescing around Biden and his eventual running mate will help Democrats head into the general election against President Trump with a united front — unlike what they did in 2016.