“We have not been scared away by Venezuela” says head of Exxon’s Guyana operations

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Shikema Dey
Experienced Journalist with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry and a keen interest in oil and gas, energy, public infrastructure, agriculture, social issues, development and the environment.

Unbothered seems to be the position of ExxonMobil Guyana Limited (EMGL) in response to the recent grandstanding by Venezuela – the Nicolas Maduro-led nation laying claim to two-thirds of Guyana’s territory. 

Irked by the news of the bid round, Venezuela over the past few weeks, issued consecutive statements threatening Guyana and even the oil companies that participated. Its national assembly even passed a motion reaffirming its claim. EMGL was among the participants and according to its President, Alistair Routledge, the company plans to stay on its development track, unmoved by Venezuela. 

“…we have not been scared away by Venezuela…that’s why we’re still working in Guyana. That’s why we anticipate continuing to do so for decades to come,” Routledge told reporters on October 17. 

He even doubled down when asked pointedly if the company is worried about Venezuela’s rhetoric. He said firmly, “No [we are not].” 

Thus far, Guyana’s Opposition, the United States (US) government, CARICOM, the Commonwealth of Nations, Brazil, and the Organisation of America States (OAS) have come out publicly, condemning Venezuela’s aggression.  

Its threats don’t appear to be taken “seriously”, according to Rystad Energy’s Managing Director for Latin America, Schreiner Parker. He had told OilNOW that, “Venezuela is an international pariah state right now outside of the motley crew that they have been able to cobble together… I think that it is [just] noise…”

Guyana is still moving ahead with its bid round as planned. 

As the Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo said, “This is our sovereign Guyanese territory, and the 14 blocks are all in our exclusive economic zone.”


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