Guyana has removed an offshore oil rig from waters controversially claimed by Venezuela but the Guyanese denied on Monday that they caved to pressure from their bigger neighbour, according to an AFP report.
The ExxonMobil-operated rig had found a significant deposit of crude and its exploratory function was therefore done, said Guyana’s Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, according to the report.
Minister Trotman had felt the need to speak out after Venezuelan claims that the rig’s withdrawal was the result of pressure brought by Venezuela.
The waters in question and a huge swathe of Guyana’s land territory in the Essequibo region are claimed by Venezuela in a dispute dating back to the 19th century.
Feelings had been dormant on the land issue until earlier this year when Exxon made a big oil find in an offshore concession granted by the Guyanese authorities.