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Exxon Mobil Stirs Border Dispute Between Venezuela and Guyana

“In May, Exxon Mobil reported that it had made a “significant oil discovery” in a maritime area disputed by two neighboring South American countries, Venezuela and Guyana.

In spite of the long-running border dispute, which dates back to the colonial period, the oil giant was given unilateral permission to explore through an agreement with Guyana.

Venezuela considered that agreement a ‘provocation’ and called for a dialogue between the two nations to settle the dispute in line with a 1966 agreement.

Its president, Nicolas Maduro, has described the ‘serious campaign, promoting hatred and distrust, which is promoting negative elements about Venezuela,’ with foreign petroleum lobbies provoking the situation to undermine growing solidarity between Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Exxon Mobil Corp. has had strained relations with Venezuela, after refusing to respect the South American nation’s 2007 petroleum laws, which require foreign companies to become minority partners in oil exploration with the state oil company, PDVSA. Exxon sought billions in compensation from Venezuela as a result. …”

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