Norwegian seismic vessel Ramform Tethys has left the area it was working after ordered to do so by a Venezuelan navy vessel, a spokesman for the company has told the News Room.
“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.
He said the company’s vessel was approached by Venezuelan navy earlier today when it was working on a project offshore Guyana.
“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.
It commenced that work this month.
News Room has reported the government is investigating reports of the incursion into Guyanese waters.
Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge confirmed to the News Room that he was looking into this “urgent” matter.
“At this time, seismic operations on the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana have been paused until they can be safely continued.
“Our main concern is for the safety of crew members and others in the area.”
ExxonMobil is in communication with the necessary authorities.
News Room understands that the Venezuelan military vessel approached the vessel and ordered them to stop working and to leave the area.
PGS is a leading, international, marine geophysical company. Oil and gas companies use PGS data in the exploration phase to investigate regional geology and to locate reservoirs and spot traps during their search for new reserves.
UPDATE: PGS has since informed that the Venezuelan navy ship has retreated from the area.