Exxon Mobil applies for production license of oil in Guyana

American oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. has asked Guyana's government for a production license to let it start pumping oil from the seabed by late 2019, months earlier than expected.

Guyana Geology and Mines Commissioner Newell Dennison on Wednesday confirmed the application. It would be the first time the small South American country has issued an oil and gas license.

Exxon Mobil announced a "world class" commercial find in 2015, saying that its Liza-1 well is believed to contain up to 1.4 billion barrels of oil and an undisclosed amount of gas.

The discoveries add to a maritime rights dispute with Venezuela. They're in an area also claimed by Guyana's neighbor. The UN has given both nations until year's end to solve the dispute.