Oil companies capitalize on Venezuela's unresponsiveness to Guyana
Seismic surveys were conducted in areas under the jurisdiction of Venezuela
September 29, 2000, Houston, United States. The Vice-President of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil), G.A. Worthington, forwards a letter to Guyana's Minister of Petroleum discontinuing oil exploration at the Stabroek bloc.
The bloc, granted under a concession in 1999 by Guyanese authorities, includes a portion in front of the Venezuelan Delta.
The CEO recalled in the letter that he had previously sent a letter in reference to the exploration on the Suriname-Venezuela border and that Esso could not fulfill its obligations in the bloc for reasons of force majeure. The agreement, contended the oil holding, provided that "international disputes affect the extent of the contracted area" and recommended that the "matter should be addressed by the governments involved."
In this way, Exxon was answering to two facts: Venezuela's claim expressed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the claims lodged by the Venezuelan Ministry of Energy and Mines at two World Petroleum Congresses and an action of the Surinamese Army, ordering the withdrawal of the staff working on another bloc allocated by Guyana, but next to Stabroek.
October 30, 2008. Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo meets in his office with Esso area manager Jan Claire Phillips. They sign an appendix and addendum to the oil license on Stabroek.
The documents adapt the area to be explored to the arbitral award of 2007, which set the maritime boundaries between Guyana and Suriname. Further, they reschedule the term of the license during which Esso's working duties are expected to be performed.
In this way, Exxon Mobil and the Government of Guyana resolved to go ahead with the exploration of the Stabroek bloc, disregarding the Venezuelan claim of 2000, yet ratified by Venezuelan authorities in 2008.
"If they renewed the concession, then, the refusal of 2000 should be renewed also," Venezuelan ex-negotiator Emilio Figueredo suggested.
He believes that the refusal should refer to the concession and clarify "that any operations are accepted in areas under the possession, jurisdiction and control of Venezuela."
All what is known about exploration works conducted at Stabroek bloc is that seismic surveys have been completed.
A paper gotten by El Universal reports the first works commissioned in the area. The work was entrusted to company Geoterrex-Dighem. Starting on February 13, and for six weeks, the Cessna 404 aircraft with six passengers onboard conducted aeromagnetic surveys.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
The very early morning after the presidential election (April 15), both candidates requested the National Electoral Council (CNE) to conduct a full audit of the process: one, Henrique Capriles, because he asserts that the election results are different from the ones announced, and the other one, Nicolás Maduro, in order to clear any doubt regarding his victory, and to reinforce his political stance. Nevertheless, as it is already known, President Maduro changed his mind.