Exxon Mobil and Other US Oil Majors Defy Venezuelan Dictator Maduro’s Orders To Withdraw From Guyana’s Essequibo Area – Companies Move ‘Aggressively’ With Production Plans

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Written By Maya Cantina

Big Oil is doubling down on Essequibo.

While Latin America braces itself for the possibility of war between Venezuela and Guyana over the oil-rich Essequibo region, the major US companies operating in Guyana’s waters are “moving ahead aggressively” with production.

The plans are being followed despite Venezuela’s threats to take over the region, in an escalating border conflict.

Read: Guyana on High Alert Against Maduro’s Invasion Threat – Referendum’s Turnout Is Said To Have Been Very Low – Venezuelan Voters Also Allegedly Rejected Arbitration by International Court

Bloomberg reported:

“Speaking from Georgetown, Ali said Guyana’s troops are prepared to defend the nation’s territory after Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro revived a long-dormant dispute over the Essequibo, a swath roughly the size of Florida where major oil discoveries have been made in recent years. Companies operating there were not intimidated by orders from the Venezuelan leader to leave the region, he added.

‘There’s absolutely no slowing down’ in production plans, Ali said in a video interview on Monday. ‘We are on the right side of international law, on the right side of ethics, and on the right side of history’.”

 Read: Powder Keg America: Socialist Dictator Maduro Orders Venezuelan Companies To Start Prospecting Oil and Gas in the Disputed Waters of Guyana

Maduro publicly ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. and others to withdraw from the area within three months.

Exxon leads a joint venture that includes Hess Corp. on Guyana’s Stabroek Block, exploring the world’s largest crude discovery of the past decade.

“Ali and Maduro are set to meet on Thursday on the island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a bid to de-escalate tension. The dispute intensified in recent years as the massive oil discoveries off the coast of Guyana led the small English-speaking nation to become the world’s fastest-growing economy. Estimates that Guyana’s economy will grow 25%-30% a year in the medium-term are “very conservative,” said Ali, who is targeting more than 1.2 million barrels of daily production in the coming years.

‘We are continuing to ensure that we are in a position with our international partners to defend what is ours’, Ali said. ‘But make no mistake, our troops are going to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Guyana is respected’.”

Read: BRINK OF WAR: Dictator Maduro Declares Oil-Rich Esequibo Region Part of Venezuela, Appoints Military Authority for the Area – Guyana Loses Troops in Helicopter Crash

Many see the dispute over the Essequibo as an attempt by Maduro to boost his popularity.

Expected to run for a third term, he has very low poll ratings, and his opponent María Corina Machado’s popularity in on the rise.

But Guyana is not taking any chances.

“’We want the region to know that we will do everything within our power to ensure the region remains peaceful and stable’, [president] Ali said. ‘We have a responsibility to ensure that we explore every avenue to have Venezuela deescalate this level of aggression and threat, and then for us to move toward a peaceful coexistence’.”

Maduro wants the lion’s share of all that oil.

Associated Press reported:

“’We are very confident that good sense will prevail’, Ali said. ‘We want peace, but we must be respected. The world is behind us’, he said.”

Guyana will not negotiate with Venezuela, as it insists that the case is to be heard by the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands.

“When asked if the U.S. has committed any military aid, Ali said he signed an advanced defense agreement with the U.S. to ensure that “major training programs and exercises” will continue.

‘We also are talking to many other partners’, he said, without details. ‘We don’t want any conflict. We don’t want any war’.”

Read more:

As Threat of Invasion From Venezuela Escalates, the US Runs Military Drills With Allied Guyanese Armed Forces

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