In recent international news Exxon Mobile Deep Water Rig is heading to Guyana to drill an exploratory well. The contract has received strenuous objections from the Venezuelan Government. Despite the objections, the project is set to continue and should be ready to commence drilling soon.
Representatives explained that Exxon will not be engaging in any other Government matters and will continue to execute the contract until it is complete. According to company insiders, the rig was scheduled to arrive in Guyana a few weeks ago and it will take about a week to get prepped. Shortly thereafter, the crew should be ready to begin its oil exploration activities off Guyana’s Atlantic shore.
Exxon’s rig (Deep Water Champion) recently departed from Louisiana, in the long trip toward the Stabroek Block offshore location in Guyana. However, there have been several objections to plans for the exploratory well that will be created within Guyana’s territorial waters.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister to the Country Manager of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, has voiced strenuous objections to the oil well explorations by Guyana. In response, the Guyana Government issued a warning that Venezuela must desist from taking any actions that could prevent Guyana’s development or contravene important international laws.
The recent developments with Venezuela are unsettling to the parties because of past developments. Two years ago, a ship conducting a seismic study for Guyana and the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation was detained and prevented from further work by Venezuela. Guyana claims that the ship and its 36-man crew, were within its territorial waters at the time and should not have been detained. The vessel was released after a week, but the project was already delayed and the plans damaged.
Such episodes have led to the two countries to establish a bilateral committee that will explore mechanisms within the context of international law. The goal is to address maritime delimitation.
However, the agreed upon meeting has since been stalled, due to recent developments in both countries.
Serious and enormously damaging accidents have taken place in the past decades from oil drilling activities. Moreover, many countries have expressed concern with drilling activities of companies like Exxon because of the far-reaching environmental dangers. Lawsuits are even now still pending for the drilling damages caused by the BP oil disaster back in 2010.
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