Gov’t protests illegal, aggressive & hostile incursion by Venezuela


The Guyana Government is in the process of informing the United Nations and “several Governments” of the threat posed to 70 crew members who were on board a Norwegian seismic vessel that was forced off a project offshore Guyana by a Venezuelan navy vessel on Saturday.

“The Government of Guyana rejects this illegal, aggressive and hostile act perpetrated by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which once again demonstrates the real threat to Guyana’s economic development by its western neighbor; an act that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country,” Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge said in a statement Saturday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge

The Government further called the act by Venezuela as an “act of illegality and blatant disrespect for Guyana’s sovereignty by Venezuela to the attention of the United Nations.”

“The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will also receive formal communication from the Government of Guyana on this matter,” Mr Greenidge noted in his statement.

The statement explained that Esso Exploration & Production, Guyana Limited (Exxon Mobil) reported that a research vessel, the Ramform Tethys, was intercepted by the Venezuelan navy at 10:30 hrs Saturday.

The vessel, flagged by the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, was contracted to conduct seismic work by Exxon Mobil and had a total of 70 crew members on board including the Captain.

The Foreign Ministry said the vessel was intercepted in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana at a position of N 09 deg 17.19 min / W 058 deg 16.20 min at an approximate distance of 140 Km from the nearest point to the provisional equidistant line with Venezuela.

Operators of the vessel left the area it was working after the incursion by the Venezuelan navy vessel, a spokesman for the company stated.

“The vessel has now stopped seismic acquisition and is now heading East,” said Bard Stenberg, Senior Vice President IR & Corporate Communications said in a statement to the News Room.

“We are operating in Guyana under the authority of the Guyana government and has all necessary permits to perform this survey,” he stated.

The ship was carrying out 3-D seismic data acquisition of the western portion of the Stabroek Block where an estimated five billion barrels of oil have so far been discovered.

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