Venezuela objects to Exxon oil exploration


[] – Venezuela has objected to the planned offshore exploration for oil in local waters by US company – Exxon Mobil, much to the dissatisfaction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here. 

As such, the move has prompted the Foreign Affairs Ministry to write its counterpart in Venezuela urging that its government desist from actions that could contravene international law and prevent development.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested that the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela desist from taking any actions that could only result in the stymying of the development of Guyana and its people and that would be in contravention of international law,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

According to the Ministry, it has since informed the 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom), Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Organisation of American States, the Commonwealth and the United Nations Secretary General “about this recent action by Venezuela.”

With the acquisition of two helicopters to help carry out its work, Exxon Mobil is scheduled to arrive at its offshore proposed drilling site sometime during next week.

This is according company representative, Jeff Simmons who told iNews that operations are set to commence next week.

According to reports, Trinidad and Tobago Company – National Helicopter Services Limited (NHSL) is in Guyana to provide aerial services to US oil giant ExxonMobil.

Exxon Mobil is scheduled to commence drilling in an area offshore Guyana known as the Stabroek Block in mid-March. The Company recently updated Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud on activities that the company will undertake over the next few weeks following a meeting with Mr. Chuck Calavan, ExxonMobil Vice President of US and Latin America and Mr. Jeff Simon, Country Manager, ESSO.

A press release from the Ministry noted that Minister Persaud was updated on the deployment of the Company’s oil rig (Deep Water Champion) which will depart from Louisiana, USA on Thursday, February 19 to the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana where it is expected to commence drilling in mid-March.

“To further enhance this effort, Minister Persaud stated that Cabinet has recently approved a request from ESSO for geological and geophysical survey in the form of 3D seismic survey within offshore Guyana. A permit has been granted to CGG Service (UK) Limited to undertake this survey.