PRESIDENT David Granger has assured United States oil company, ExxonMobil, that it has nothing to fear in terms of its current operations in Guyana’s waters, as it not only has the backing of the Guyana Government, but international law on its side as well. He made the observation during a recent interview, whereby he said he’s already met with ExxonMobil officials and reassured them that they can carry on with their exploration.
He said, too, that he’s already notified the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) of the latest development in the Guyana/Venezuela border rift, and that he’s confident that Secretary-General, Dr. Irwin LaRocque has filled Heads in on the situation.
He, however, noted that CARICOM Heads will be formally briefed at the upcoming 36th Heads of Government meeting, which is slated for July 1 to 5 in Barbados.
In addition, all the countries of the 35-member Organisation of America States (OAS) and 12-member Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) have been notified of Venezuela’s latest claim by way of a decree crafted by Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro and published in the Official Gazette of May 27.
Reacting to this latest aggravation of Venezuela’s, which he aptly describes as “a legal absurdity,” President Granger said it is the worst intrusion on Guyana’s sovereignty.
“It is an affront to the nation, and it collides with internal maritime law; it is completely in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said.
The decree at reference purports to claim sovereignty over Guyana’s territorial waters in the Essequibo region of the Atlantic Ocean.
Maps created since the decree by Venezuela’s National Organisation for Rescue and Maritime Safety (ONSA) indicate that the claim would include a large part of the Stabroek Block, where ExxonMobil discovered oil recently.
ExxonMobil, on May 20 disclosed that it found a deposit of ‘a significant’ amount of oil in the Stabroek Block, about 120 nautical miles offshore Guyana. The company said this discovery was made in one of the two wells it dug in the Liza-1 drill site, which realised more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone.
ExxonMobil, the largest public trading international company in the world, is an industry that is the leading inventory of oil and gas projects, and the world’s largest refiner of petroleum products.
The total area allotted to Exxon for exploration (the Liza Area or the Stabroek Block) covers 26, 806 square kilometers. It has a long history of using science and innovation to find safer and cleaner ways of bringing energy to the world. (GINA)