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Guyana’s forthcoming award of new oil blocks is rejected by Venezuela

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In a statement released on Tuesday, the Venezuelan government rejected Guyana’s oil auction, which would have allowed new businesses to conduct oil exploration and production activities off the coast of Guyana.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela “strongly rejects the illegal bidding round for oil blocks currently carried out by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (Blocks for tender for 2022 – Guyana Licensing Round) since it intends to have maritime areas pending delimitation between the two countries,” according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry.

Venezuela’s statement also noted that any arbitrary concession granted would be “unacceptable” and that “these actions do not generate any type of rights to third parties who participate in such a process.”

Guyana’s inaugural oil auction closed on September 12. Fourteen blocks, 11 in shallow water and 3 in deepwater, were up for auction; eight blocks received bids and the government is in the process of assessing those bids.

Venezuela claims it owns Guyana’s Essequibo region, and a portion of the country’s exclusive economic zone that includes areas under oil exploration, but that border case is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The World Court already found that it has the jurisdiction to preside over the matter and Guyana has submitted its memorial on the merits of its case.

Guyana is seeking a final and binding judgement that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the location of the land boundary between then British Guiana and Venezuela, remains valid and that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana and not Venezuela.

Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali, Foreign Minister Hugh Todd and other high-ranking government officials are currently in New York for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78).

The media has been informed that the Guyana Government is aware of Venezuela’s recent statement and will respond in due course.





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