Venezuela detains oil survey vessel in local waters – updates – ship now released

Venezuela detains oil survey vessel in local waters, Guyana protests

APNU condemns `provocative’ action of Venezuelan navy


Research Vessel -Teknik Perdana

Research Vessel – “Teknik Perdana”

A Venezuela frigate yesterday  [October 10, 2013], shadowed a research vessel for a US oil explorer in Guyana’s waters and later forced it to the Venezuelan island of Margarita where it is presently detained, sparking a strong protest from Guyana.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning said: “The Government of Guyana is of the firm belief that the actions taken by the Venezuelan navy vessel constitute a serious threat to the peace of this sub-region and the Government of Guyana therefore strongly condemns these actions.”  

The move by Caracas comes after an August 31, 2013 visit by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to Guyana in which he and President Donald Ramotar recommitted to  the United Nations Good Offices process in the search for a peaceful and practical settlement of the border controversy between the two countries. On the very day of the visit, there was an intrusion at Eteringbang, Region Seven by Venezuelan soldiers and civilians, the latter with the intention of restating Venezuela’s claim to Guyana’s territory.

According to the statement today from Takuba Lodge, “The Government of Guyana was informed that at approximately 16:00 hrs on Thursday 10th October, 2013 a Venezuelan armed naval vessel, the “Yekuana”, was trailing the seismic vessel, the RV Teknik Perdana which is under contract with Anadarko. The naval vessel obstructed the research vessel’s passage, requested them to change course and stop surveying. As is known, Anadarko has a petroleum prospecting licence to search for hydrocarbons in the Roraima block offshore Guyana.

“The crew of the RV Teknik Perdana explained to the crew of the Venezuelan vessel that they were conducting a multi-beam survey of the seafloor in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone.  The Venezuelan crew insisted that the vessel was doing such work in Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone and instructed that the vessel switch off its engines and shut down its seismic equipment.

“At about 17:45 hrs the Venezuelan naval vessel ordered the RV Teknik Perdana, which was then located at 10 21.0745 N, 57 31.1057W to travel at 5 knots in a westerly direction.  At approximately 20:30 hrs, the crew of the RV Teknik Perdana was instructed to increase speed to 7 knots and was given directions to sail to the island of Margarita in Venezuela.  It was then clear that the vessel and its crew were not only being escorted out of Guyana’s waters, but were under arrest. These actions by the Venezuelan naval vessel are unprecedented in Guyana Venezuela relations.

“One point is clear and that is that the RV Teknik Perdana was in Guyana’s waters when this incident took place.

“The Government of Guyana has expressed to the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela its grave concern about the incident involving the RV Teknik Perdana and has requested the immediate release of the vessel and its crew.  Guyana intends to employ all peaceful means to facilitate a prompt return to the status quo ante since neither the Venezuelan naval vessel, the agents of Venezuela, its Government nor any other State has the authority to exercise any action in Guyana’s territorial waters, its continental shelf or its exclusive economic zone without its express consent.

“The Government of Guyana is of the firm belief that the actions taken by the Venezuelan navy vessel constitute a serious threat to the peace of this sub-region and the Government of Guyana therefore strongly condemns these actions.

“Guyana believes in the peaceful resolution of disagreements amongst States.  It is for that reason that Guyana maintains that since the RV Teknik Perdana was merely collecting seismic data, and it will be some time before actual exploration for hydrocarbons could take place, there was and is ample time for Guyana and Venezuela to discuss any differences of view that may exist in relation to the provisional maritime boundary between the two States.  Guyana however maintains that the application of the principles of international maritime delimitation will vindicate its position that the RV Teknik Perdana was well within its maritime boundary when it was illegally evicted by the Venezuelan naval vessel.  Indeed so is the Roraima concession block.

“The Government of Guyana is committed to working with the Venezuelan Government to find a diplomatic solution to this problem which has arisen.”

Meanwhile, A Partnership for National Unity today condemned the actions of the Venezuelan navy.

“A Partnership for National Unity expresses its concern over actions by a Corvette of the Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela (Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela) in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone.

“APNU understands that the Venezuelan corvette – PC-23 Yekuana – entered Guyana’s waters at about 16:00hrs on Thursday 10th October 2013. A seismic survey vessel – RV Teknik Perdana – was conducting surveys in Guyana’s EEZ at that time. The Yekuana instructed the Perdana to proceed into Venezuelan waters where, it is presumed the vessel and crew were detained.

“APNU believes that the actions of the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela constitute a threat to international peace. It calls on the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to fulfill its obligations under Article 33 – for the “Pacific Settlement of Disputes” – of the Charter of the United Nations and to desist from resorting to armed force in its relations with the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

Also read:  Venezuela says research ship was not in Guyanese waters

  • Friday, 11 October 2013 – Demerara Waves


Also read this New York Times Report: Venezuela Intercepts ship with 5 Americans aboard


Also read this update:

 Guyana and Venezuela Foreign Ministers to meet over border spat

  • Saturday, 12 October 2013 18:44


Also read this October 13 update: 

Research vessel arrives at Margarita, captain detained


 October 14 Updates:

Guyana, Venezuela Foreign Ministers set meeting date, venue

OAS monitors Guyana-Venezuela border spat over boat eviction

———————————————————————————————————————————Detained vessel…Case turned over to Venezuelan Prosecutors

FULL STORY | |October 15, 2013

.…..36 crewmembers to be held on board as investigations continue    Five American citizens were among the crew of a U.S.-chartered oil exploration ship seized by the Venezuelan navy in Guyana waters on Thursday. The coordinates… […]


Venezuela releases oil research ship arrested in Guyanese waters  

Tuesday, 15 October 2013  – Demerara Waves



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  • Richard Shim-chim  On 10/12/2013 at 5:23 am

    Again, Mr. President Ramotar, this scenario is quite similar, from the viewpoint of Standard Operating Procedures, to the inexperience and incompetence of those associated with the Amaila Falls Project (AFP). The hydrologists involved with the AFP failed to predict the drying up of Amaila Falls. In the case of Venezuela’s action against the Research Vessel it reflects, again, the inexperience and incompetence of the Geophysicists and Seismologists involved with that oil exploration crew. Mr. President you need to urgently upgrade your advisors on any future oil exploration activities involving Guyana to avoid future confrontation with the Venezuelan or any other government. At this juncture, I would like to refer you to two similar oil exploration activities. Firstly, Trinidad and Tobago has been pulling oil from the Venezuelan Reserves from Day 1. Why has the Venezuelan government done nothing about this after all these years? Secondly, Kuwait was pulling oil from Iraqi Reserves. Saddam Hussein told them to cease and desist. Kuwait ignored the threat and the Gulf War resulted. I can go into details about locating oil in Guyana without conflict with other neighboring countries. But that’s a topic of discussion for another time and place. The oil-producing areas for Guyana have already located and delineated, the boundary limits have been established, and the volume content of the Basin within the periphery of Guyana’s jurisdiction has been assessed. This information exists and so there is absolutely no need to reinvent the wheel. Confront the technical experts!!

  • de castro compton  On 10/12/2013 at 5:51 am

    My first reaction to report was “saber rattling”….
    Then I questioned what flag the american ship was flying.
    I later read the report on whether ship was in Guyana or Venezuela waters.

    These are questions on the legality of the issue.

    We all know that USA VENEZUELA both are in “cold war” modus operandi…

    It is now for the UN to resolve this dispute ….if it means obtaining an injunction
    on this particular vessel entering Venezuelan waters.

    Hope the dispute is resolved ASAP so that relations between neighbours
    are resolved amicably…..BRAZIL diplomatic chanells should be made available
    to mediate…..these three countries are neighbours….hopefully remain good neighbours by their words/actions.

    Will keep an open mind for present…


  • de castro compton  On 10/12/2013 at 6:04 am

    Just read the comment above that is concise and correct.
    I did enjoy the references to Kuwait and T+T oil extraction…to make the point.

    The solution as stated is Technical not Political or diplomatic.

    Saved rattling is a political ploy best noted/ignored.


  • de castro compton  On 10/12/2013 at 6:06 am


    “saber rattling” …en garde before the fight begins…ha ha !

  • Karen K.  On 10/13/2013 at 11:00 pm

    I think it was the early 80’s (Burnham was alive then) that I remember a border dispute between Venezuela & Guyana. It was finally settled by I believe England who produced a treaty. These disputes are raising an ugly head again!? This time, a water border dispute. Must be resolved once and for all. Oil disputes, the next best commodity after gold.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 10/14/2013 at 9:52 am

    Richard Shim-Chim: Trinidad and Tobago has been pulling oil from the Venezuelan Reserves from Day 1. Why has the Venezuelan government done nothing about this after all these years? – Richard, I believe the answer is in the fact that Trinidad & Tobago was a British colony when they started “..pulling oil from Venezuelan Reserves ..” and there was not a lot that Venezuela dare do to challenge the British Empire.

    Why we still suffering “eye-pass” since Guyana’s independence in 1966 – with the seizing of Ankoko and other incidents – is unfinished business. Hopefully, the pending investments in the disputed territory will send the appropriate message to Venezuela. I doubt they will want to mess with China, Brazil and others ….

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