Venezuela links Exxon presence in disputed Guyana zone to Obama executive order

Venezuela links Exxon presence in disputed Guyana zone to Obama executive order

April 9, 2015 | By KNews | Filed Under News

Venezuela

Venezuela Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez

Caracas, Venezuela- Venezuela’s government said a subsidiary of U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil was carrying out “unauthorized” operations in disputed waters off Guyana and linked them to Washington’s recent diplomatic steps against Caracas.

“The actions of (Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd.), with its intention to carry out unauthorized operations within the maritime territory adjoining Venezuela, contradict public international law and show its intent to subvert it,” Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement released Wednesday and carried on the online news, www.laprensasa.com.  

The Ministry said it sent a letter to the head of that Exxon unit, Jeff Simon, reiterating its rejection of the company’s intentions and asserting that they violate bilateral obligations signed by Guyana and Venezuela.

It added in that letter that Esso Exploration and Production and Guyana’s actions must be viewed in light of President Barack Obama’s executive order in March declaring Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” and handing down sanctions against seven officials.

“Venezuela reaffirms that there is no demarcation of the marine and submarine areas of the territorial space of the reclamation zone, and that the existing agreement providing for non-incursion in these spaces remains fully valid,” the ministry said.

An Exxon platform began exploratory drilling at the Stabroek Block off Guyana early last month under a US$200 million, 10-year agreement between the Oil Company and Georgetown.

Guyana’s Foreign Ministry at that time requested that Venezuela not interfere in the exploration work at Stabroek, located in the Guyana-Suriname basin, which the U.S. Geological Survey says has the second-largest unexplored oil potential in the world after Greenland.

That basin lies off the coast of a border region known as Essequibo, a 160,000-sq.-kilometer (61,780-sq.-mile) area that is administered by Guyana and makes up more than half of its territory but which Venezuela has claimed as its own since the 19th century. (www.laprensasa.com)

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Comments

  • guyaneseonline  On 04/10/2015 at 1:40 am

    The Editor, Kaieteur News
    “Dear Editor,
    The story you ran under the caption above in your April 9th edition is clearly the Venezuelan perspective.

    I do believe that as a Guyanese newspaper you should add notes to stories like this to reflect that while you respect the right of the Venezuelan authorities to have their view on the border with Guyana you also reserve the right to point out what is wrong in their position and not acceptable by Guyanese and Guyanese publications.

    E.g. in the story you ran it is written that “That basin lies off the coast of a border region known as Essequibo, a 160,000-sq.-kilometer (61,780-sq.-mile) area that is administered by Guyana and makes up more than half of its territory but which Venezuela has claimed as its own since the 19th century.” This is an ambiguous description which wants to give credence to the baseless Venezuelan claim.

    You should have added an Editorial note saying in effect “that basin lies off the coast of the 160,000-sq.-kilometer (61,780-sq.-mile) County of Essequibo which makes up more than half of the territory of Guyana and which Venezuela claims even though an International Arbitration tribunal had decided since 1899 that the entire County of Essequibo is an integral part of the territory of Guyana.”
    Sincerely,
    Fitzgerald Yaw

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/10/2015 at 2:30 am

    I noted they did not send their naval vessel out to the area to disturb the work of the exploration operations, this time. Just as well, because I am fed up with the harassment. They are a nuisance – the territory belongs to Guyana.

  • Mike Charles  On 04/10/2015 at 3:38 am

    You are correct Mr. Yaw!

  • sirenagx  On 04/10/2015 at 2:11 pm

    All Guyana have a right to be fed up with Venezuela , that insists on bringing up their spurious claim after it was settled long ago. Instead of waiting to see what oil may be found, they used force and then made every excuse to begin the proposed talks. Surinam did the same thing and perhaps stopped possible revenue to Guyana from any if found years ago. They lost in the long run. This dog in the manger attitude of these nations are unbelivable. Since Exon is american, the chance of force seems to have diminished. Guyana must seek other means to gain recognition of their marintime borders. Guyana must protest loud and hard that Venezuela is denying Guyana a chance for development.at all international bodies.

  • Cliff  On 04/10/2015 at 2:16 pm

    Venezuela has no claim of any part of Guyana as this matter was settled since 1899. So what is all the hue and cry over the Essequibo by these people? They can try all they could and we will not give up 3/4 of our country. Madura is a mad man and seems that he is not well educated to be President of Venezuela and so is the opposition. They are a greedy lot.

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