The US State Department today urged Venezuela to respect "international law and the sovereignty of its neighbors" after Guyana denounced that Venezuelan authorities violated its sovereignty by intercepting a ship of the US oil company Exxon Mobil.
"We are monitoring the reports that the Venezuelan Navy may have interfered with the vessels that operate on behalf of Exxon Mobil, and we underscore that Guyana has the sovereign right to explore and exploit resources in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone," said one on Twitter. of the spokesmen of the American diplomacy, Robert Palladino.
"We call on Venezuela to respect international law and the sovereignty of its neighbors," he added.
According to the Guyanese Foreign Ministry, the incident occurred at 10.30 local time (14.30 GMT) this Saturday, when a Venezuelan military ship intercepted the exploration vessel Ramform Tethys, which had been hired by Exxon Mobil and had 70 people to board.
Guyana claims that the incident occurred in its waters; but the Venezuelan Executive affirms that it happened in its territory and supposes a violation of its sovereignty.
Guyanese Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge announced that he will file a complaint with the UN over the incident with the ships, which he described as "aggressive", "illegal" and "hostile".
Due to the dispute, Exxon Mobil announced that it has suspended some of its works in the west of the exploration well of the Stabroek block, of 26,800 square kilometers, in front of Guyana.
The incident is part of the dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the dominance of the Essequibo region, an area very rich in minerals.
The conflict has worsened because, in 2015, a consortium of companies led by Exxon Mobil discovered a major oil field in that area and, since then, has made nine more discoveries on the coasts of Guyana, including one on October 3. December of this month.