Groups interested in Guyana’s oil blocks not concerned about Venezuela’s claims – Jagdeo


Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday said none of the groups seeking to search for and possibly produce oil at new blocks offshore expressed concern about Venezuela’s recent statements rejecting Guyana’s inaugural auction.

“We have not heard from any of the bidders that they are concerned about the statement,” the Vice President said at a People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) press conference.

There were six bidders who expressed an interest in eight of the 14 oil blocks up for auction. The government is in the process of assessing those bids.

Earlier this week, however, Venezuela said this bid round was illegal since there are maritime areas pending delimitation between the two countries. It also noted that any arbitrary concession granted would be “unacceptable” and that “these actions do not generate any type of rights to third parties who participate in such a process.”

Venezuela claims it owns Guyana’s Essequibo region, and a portion of the country’s exclusive economic zone that includes areas under oil exploration, but that border case is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Guyana is seeking a final and binding judgement that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the location of the land boundary between then British Guiana and Venezuela, remains valid and that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana and not Venezuela.

Jagdeo noted that Venezuela has been opportunistic in its rejection of the auction and its claims to a majority of Guyana’s territory.

“… it is not surprising that Venezuela would issue this statement.

“They have done so almost for every major event when we have tried to utilise the economic resources of our country both on land and in the Exclusive Economic Zone,” he said.

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