Exploration to continue in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone, says president
GEORGETOWN, Guyana - President David Granger has assured US oil company Exxon Mobil that it has nothing to fear in terms of its current operations in Guyana’s waters, as the company has the backing of the Guyana government and international law as it continues exploration in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone.
In a recent interview, the head of state said that he met with officials from the exploration company and assured them that ExxonMobil has nothing to fear in terms of the present operations in Guyana’s waters.
In the interim, Granger said the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has been notified, and he is confident that the Secretary General Irwin LaRocque has provided some information to the heads of government.
However, the president noted that CARICOM heads would be formally briefed on the situation at the upcoming 36th heads of government meeting, which is slated for July 1 to 5 in Barbados. The president will be heading a delegation for that meeting. In addition, all the countries of the Organisation of America States (OAS) and Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) have already been notified of Venezuela’s claim.
Meanwhile, the president, in response to Venezuela’s claim, described it as a “legal absurdity,” stating that 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,” Granger said.
Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro issued a decree on May 25, claiming sovereignty over Guyana’s territorial waters in the Essequibo region of the Atlantic Ocean.
Maps created after 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.