Venezuela threatens Exxon drilling in waters offshore from Guyana
Exxon Mobil's exploration efforts offshore of Guyana were abruptly halted when the Venezuelan navy confronted a contract vessel.The oil field off Guyana is huge. Venezuela really is incapable of exploiting it and no oil company is likely to enter into any agreement with Venezuela even if they could secure a claim to the resources because there is no assurance that the government of Venezuela would honor any agreement.
The offshore waters of the small South American nation Guyana have become Exxon Mobil's largest point of emphasis outside of West Texas' booming Permian Basin. But century-old border disputes with neighboring Venezuela threaten Exxon's efforts along with its joint venture partner, Hess Corp. of New York.
Exxon Mobil confirmed it "paused" its seismic data-recording and exploration efforts along the western portion of what's known as the Stabroek Block offshore of Guyana. A Norwegian seismic vessel contracted by Exxon Mobil fled the region after being intercepted by Venezuelan authorities.
The deepwater dispute is pending before the International Court of Justice, the United Nation's court system in the Netherlands.