ExxonMobil to drill two exploration wells offshore Guyana amidst Venezuelan border dispute
(Bloomberg) – Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to drill two exploration wells offshore Guyana this year close to a region being disputed by Venezuela, a local news service reported.
The oil giant will drill the exploration wells west of the Liza field, which is producing oil, and closer to the border with Venezuela, Exxon Guyana President Alistair Routledge told Demerara Waves. The dispute is “not inhibiting that activity in our plans,” he said.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reopened a century-old dispute with its eastern neighbor in December by holding a referendum that asserted the country’s historical claim over the oil-rich Essequibo region, which makes up about two-thirds of Guyana. The long-simmering claim has taken on new significance in recent years as Exxon’s oil discoveries made Guyana one of the world’s fastest-growing major producers.
The dispute has “made a lot of people nervous,” Routledge told the news service, adding Exxon believes its contract is valid under local and international laws.