The Government of Guyana intends to file an official complaint with the United Nations over the interception of an ExxonMobil contracted research vessel in Guyana’s waters.
The Exxon company is currently conducting oil exploration activities offshore Guyana. It has already discovered over five billion barrels.
The research vessel, the Ramform Tethys, was intercepted by the Venezuelan navy at 10.30 am on Saturday and its crew immediately informed ExxonMobil and the company contacted the Government, triggering an emergency meeting of top government officials.
In his statement last evening, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge said the Government of Guyana “rejects this illegal, aggressive and hostile act perpetrated by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which once again demonstrates the real threat to Guyana’s economic development by its western neighbor; an act that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country”.
The vessel which had a crew of 70 persons on board was intercepted in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Guyana at a position of N 09 deg 17.19 min / W 058 deg 16.20 min at an approximate distance of 140 Km from the nearest point to the provisional equidistant line with Venezuela.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be bringing this latest act of illegality and blatant disrespect for Guyana’s sovereignty by Venezuela to the attention of the United Nations.It is also in the process of informing the several Governments of the seventy crew members of the threat to their safety”, Minister Greenidge said.
He said The Government of Venezuela will also receive formal communication from the Government of Guyana on this matter.
News Source understands that there were attempts by the Venezuelan military to board the vessel and get it to go to Venezuela. Those efforts failed and the vessel sailed closer to Guyana, according to sources.