The American multinational oil & gas corporation, Exxon Mobil, has reportedly restarted its oil drilling and developmental activities off the coast of Guyana – a project that supposedly commenced earlier this year. Seemingly, the company resumed work without being unaffected by the most recent Venezuela incident in which two exploration vessels hired by Exxon were stopped by the country’s navy.
Sources familiar with the matter claim that according to the governments of Venezuela and Guyana, the firm’s exploration ships were present in their territorial waters. Apparently, the incident is a result of the century-long territorial conflict between the two countries that catapulted further with Exxon discovering over 5 billion oil and gas barrels off the shore of Guyana, with the help of which Exxon aims to produce 750,000 barrels of oil by 2025.
A report by Times Now News claims that two vessels, which were owned by Petroleum Geo-Services of Norway and were under Exxon Mobil’s contract, were conducting seismic survey work in the Stabroek block area. The ships had to halt their work after being told off by the Venezuelan navy that there was no jurisdiction for Guyana there, despite the company having had a permit from Guyana for exploring the Stabroek block.
The Foreign Ministry of Venezuela reportedly said that it had sent an official protest to the government of Guyana over its decision of allowing arbitrary and unilateral exploration as well as other activities in the area. For the record, the survey’s notice that was published on the website of Maritime Administration Department of Guyana said that the work was scheduled for a period of six months.
Reportedly, the interception of the Venezuelan navy was viewed with serious concern. The Caricom group of nations including Guyana, said that such acts violate the country’s sovereign rights under the international law.
Exxon confirmed in a statement that the exploration drilling is still on in the Stabroek Block’s southeast area. Exxon’s shares on the 26th of December rose around 4% as the oil prices jumped, both improving from their earlier sharp declines.