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.
The small country, which borders Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname in South America's north-east corner, currently boasts the fastest-growing economy in the world.