21. Would Venezuela invade Guyana?

Venezuela-Guyana

Comment and important observation, as an independant petroleum consultant and observer.

Suriname represents at this moment the lowest political risk country for petroleum exploration in the very prospective Guyana Basin.

This because of the following 3 crucial petroleum industry investment aspects.

They have a proactive attitude for promoting petroleum exploration and attracting IOC’s since 3 decades.

Suriname has already settled and defined all its territorial and offshore boundaries with neighbouring countries. So no conflict possible on this important political theme for IOC’s.

Also the legal status of the Fiscal Stability Clauses and other commitments made to IOC’s in their PSC’s with Staatsolie is saveguarded, as a draft state decree has been recently approved.

French Guyana, France, president Macron, has banned petroleum exploration. Important discoveries of Tullow Oil and Shell are therefore stranded. And represent probably some hundreds of millions US$ of lost exploration money.

Guyana is extremely successful, with already seven grand discoveries of ExxonMobil. Really a fabulous exploration and drilling job by ExxonMobil.

Guyana is definitely entering a booming petroleum and economic cycle (…assuming, absence of the terrible Oil Curse and the Dutch Disease. That as a mere fact up to now, unfortunately, but generally affect most non-highly-developed oil rich countries).

But, but, Guyana does have a severe legal land dispute with Venezuela on the area west of Essequibo river (ca. 159,500 km2, more that half of present day Guyana territory; since 1841,1895-1899 Land Dispute).

To be ” resolved ” (and who knows redefined ??) by the ICJ in The Hague.

For example, just hypothetical at this stage.

What if the western Guyana / eastern Venezuela territorial land and thus also offshore boundaries were to be adapted and/or changed by the ICJ ruling.

To whom would all the petroleum already discovered, produced or to-be-discovered belong, on the then resultant final offshore map ??

Explorationist, oil investor, faites vos jeux, succes.

And, If for geo-strategic bargaining reasons? Yes, what if ??

21. Would Venezuela invade Guyana ?

Re: my Linkedin post of 25 februari 2017

Explorer? Yes. What if?? Consequences.

1) “Any Venezuelan military action against Guyana comes with major implications for foreign energy companies already doing business there. ExxonMobil, for example, is planning to continue oil exploration drilling off Guyana’s coast in 2018, and other private companies own stakes in offshore blocks. Naval activity by Venezuela or the United States would disrupt business plans and increase the risk to personnel from oil companies with current or future operations in Guyana or neighboring Trinidad and Tobago.”

2) “Indagado sobre o contencioso entre a Venezuela e a Guiana, na questão de Essequibo, objeto de disputa entre os dois países, o ministro Raul Jungmann declarou: “O dissenso do Essequibo diz respeito à Venezuela e à Guiana, mas o Brasil, que possui uma das maiores fronteiras do mundo, construiu seus limites sempre por vias diplomáticas, ou recorrendo ao arbitramento, deixa sua história como um legado de que a solução pacífica para os litígios de fronteiras é fundamental para a estabilidade da região”. Jungmann acrescentou: “Não se pode admitir, portanto, para o equilíbrio da região, qualquer saída pela força”. FONTE: Ministério da Defesa – www.forte.jor.br.

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A) Credit & reblogged from: https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/would-venezuela-invade-guyana –  Feb 8, 2018 | 20:54 GMT

Would Venezuela Invade Guyana?
According to an unconfirmed report, a Brazilian government delegation plans to meet with Guyana and Suriname about a possible Venezuelan military incursion into Guyana.
For Venezuela, entering Guyanese territory could delay an International Court of Justice border ruling and even grant Caracas a bargaining chip in amnesty negotiations with the United States.
The incursion would come with great risks for Caracas, as it may invite a harsh response from Washington.
A Brazilian delegation’s quick trip to Guyana and Suriname suggests things are moving beneath the surface of the border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana. On Feb. 7, Brazilian President Michel Temer approved a trip by Defense Minister Raul Jungmann, Justice Minister Torquato Jardim and Institutional Security Cabinet Chief Sergio Etchegoyen to Guyana and Suriname. According to Agencia Estado, the visit’s purpose is to discuss border security with the Guyanese and Surinamese governments. However, an unconfirmed report in Brazilian paper O Antagonista claimed the real reason behind the visit was to share information that Brazil’s intelligence services had learned about Venezuela considering a military incursion into Guyana.

Venezuela has claimed ownership over the Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River since 1962. But recently, the U.N. Secretary General referred the border dispute issue to the International Court of Justice, which may issue a binding decision on the matter within the next several years. According to the O Antagonista report, Brazil’s information claims that the Venezuelan government is considering siezing that territory. On Feb. 8, the Brazilian ministers visited their country’s Roraima state, an area bordering Guyana and Venezuela that has seen tens of thousands of Venezuelan refugees pour across the border in recent months as unrest in the country grows.

Much to Lose, Much to Gain
It may seem as though an incursion into Guyana would only further erode the country’s current situation. And right now, O Antagonista is the only open source outlet reporting the alleged Venezuelan plan to enter Guyana militarily. Caracas is under increasing economic pressure at home, as hyperinflation accelerates by the day and the United States threatens sanctions that will choke off Venezuela’s economic lifeline to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Seizing even a small part of territory west of the Essequibo River would draw U.S. attention toward Venezuela’s economic crisis and its slide into dictatorship, increasing the likelihood that Washington will employ heavier sanctions or intervene more directly.

But there are a number of political considerations that may motivate Caracas to make a move. In the short term, the incursion could help Caracas in its ongoing dialogue with the Trump administration over the terms of President Nicolas Maduro and his party’s departure from power. The Venezuelan president won’t leave power — or even loosen his party’s grip over the opposition — unless he has assurances from Washington that he and his acolytes will receive some form of amnesty. And seizing and holding Guyanese territory might offer Caracas a bargaining chip, allowing it to wrangle a better amnesty deal in exchange for a troop withdrawal.

In the long run, holding Guyanese territory could offer Venezuela a way to delay the International Court of Justice’s ruling about the border dispute. After all, the court may hold off on a ruling if Venezuelan troops are present in Guyanese territory. Moreover, the Maduro government may be counting on the incursion to pump up nationalism among Venezuelans. By directing attention outside its borders, the government could be able to buy time before organized domestic unrest gain critical mass, or even forestall any possible military coup attempt by moving units far from the capital.

Envisioning the Incursion
If a military incursion does happen, the majority of Venezuela’s armed forces would likely enter Guyanese territory by helicopter. Some troops may enter by ground, but they would be limited by the dense jungles and lack of roads in the region. Similarly, moving naval forces along Guyana’s coast would be difficult given Venezuela’s limited naval capabilities. But the Venezuelan military does have aerial superiority over the Guyanese, as well as plenty of members of the National Guard and regular armed forces already situated in the eastern part of the country. Guyana, on the other hand, has extremely limited armed forces, which it would struggle to transport to its western border. Ultimately, it would be relatively easy for Venezuela to deploy just a few hundred troops into Guyana to seize limited points such as villages, bridges, or roads throughout the country.

In addition to the logistical challenges Venezuela would face — such as getting enough food rations for its armed forces — there is also the political risk for Caracas that the United States would respond harshly to an incursion into Guyana. So far, Washington has chosen to slowly and selectively raise pressure on Venezuela’s government through escalating sanctions. But Venezuela’s forceful seizure of the land west of the Essequibo River — even if it is disputed — would spark major debate within the White House. The Trump administration would have to either let Venezuela keep land that it could use as leverage, or act against the country in some way. Right now, the United States has a range of options to pressure Venezuela and may choose to implement much heavier economic sanctions. But it may eventually have to contemplate military actions, though a wider conflict with the Venezuelan armed forces would be difficult for Washington as it faces other foreign policy crises across the world.

Any Venezuelan military action against Guyana comes with major implications for foreign energy companies already doing business there. ExxonMobil, for example, is planning to continue oil exploration drilling off Guyana’s coast in 2018, and other private companies own stakes in offshore blocks. Naval activity by Venezuela or the United States would disrupt business plans and increase the risk to personnel from oil companies with current or future operations in Guyana or neighboring Trinidad and Tobago.

Right now, the rumors surrounding the Brazilian delegation’s sudden trip to Guyana and Suriname are just that — rumors. But although it would come with major risk, there is logic behind a Venezuelan incursion into Guyanese territory, and many eyes will likely be trained on the region west of the Essequibo River in the coming months.

B) Brasil has stated that it only accepts a peaceful solution as the largest country in South America with boundaries with Venezuela and Guyana. For the stability of the region.

Brasil só aceita saída pacífica para disputa entre Venezuela e Guiana, diz Jungmann – 10 de Fevereiro de 2018 7492 153 – 

Reference – reblogged from:  http://www.forte.jor.br/2018/02/10/brasil-so-aceita-saida-pacifica-para-disputa-entre-venezuela-e-guiana-diz-jungmann/

Georgetown (Guiana), 09/02/2018 – Em missão oficial à região norte da América do Sul, o ministro da Defesa, Raul Jungmann, acompanhado dos ministros da Justiça, Torquato Jardim, e do Gabinete de Segurança Institucional, Sérgio Etchegoyen, estabeleceu acordos de cooperação com a Guiana para combate aos crimes transnacionais.

Os compromissos abrangem parcerias no enfrentamento aos crimes de tráfico de drogas, de armas, pessoas, contrabando e descaminho.

Este encontro é a continuidade de uma série de reuniões bilaterais realizadas com todos os países da América do Sul, com exceção da Venezuela, cujo ministro da Defesa não respondeu a um convite feito há mais de dois meses por seu contraparte brasileiro.

Na oportunidade pautas como crimes cibernéticos, terrorismo, capacitação militar, troca de informações, atuação conjunta nas fronteiras e parceria nos sistemas de vigilância e monitoramento Sisfron e Sivam foram discutidas.

Indagado sobre o contencioso entre a Venezuela e a Guiana, na questão de Essequibo, objeto de disputa entre os dois países, o ministro Raul Jungmann declarou:

“O dissenso do Essequibo diz respeito à Venezuela e à Guiana, mas o Brasil, que possui uma das maiores fronteiras do mundo, construiu seus limites sempre por vias diplomáticas, ou recorrendo ao arbitramento, deixa sua história como um legado de que a solução pacífica para os litígios de fronteiras é fundamental para a estabilidade da região”.

Jungmann acrescentou: “Não se pode admitir, portanto, para o equilíbrio da região, qualquer saída pela força. O Brasil não aceita essa possibilidade e isso vale não só para esse dissenso, como para qualquer outro, pois esse é um princípio constitucional de nosso País”, disse o ministro.

50 anos de cooperação

Em cerimônia realizada em Baribi Benad,State House, o ministro da Defesa, Raul Jungmann, recebeu a medalha Coroa do Cacique, honraria concedida pelo presidente David Granger pelo reconhecimento da Guiana ao compromisso do Ministério com a nação, com leis e tratados já definidos.

O presidente Granger destacou, durante seu discurso, que a visita da comitiva brasileira marcou o início das comemorações dos 50 anos de cooperação entre os dois países.

FONTE: Ministério da Defesa

C) Refererence, reblogged from University Durham, IBRU, Centre for Borders Research.

UN refers Guyana-Venezuela border dispute to the ICJ
(31 January 2018)

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres has recommended that the Guyana – Venezuela border dispute be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) after a year of talks failed to make progress.

UN representative Dag Halvor Nylander from Norway had been appointed by the UN to help broker a settlement by the end of 2017, however it was concluded that significant progress had not been made towards arriving at a full agreement for the resolution of the dispute.

The century long border dispute escalated in May 2015 when oil was found in disputed waters off the coast of Venezuela.

Guyana’s foreign ministry said it welcomed the decision, stating that the ICJ is the “appropriate forum for the peaceful and definitive settlement of the controversy, and is pleased that that view has prevailed under the process.”

Sources:

http://www.straitstimes.com/world/americas/un-refers-guyana-venezuela-border-dispute-to-icj

https://demerarawaves.com/2018/01/30/un-secretary-general-sends-guyana-venezuela-border-controversy-to-world-court/

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