From what I know, one of the major issues between Guyana and Venezuela is that the Guyanese government has started negotiations with Exxon-Mobil to drill and produce oil in disputed territory, as you can read in Exxon's $40 billion oil discovery sparks a nasty feud. Even after several calls and diplomatic meetings, the Government of Guyana

  • doesn't follow the norms accepted and signed by Venezuela and Guyana in the Geneva Agreement.

  • cancels bilateral conversations.

  • blatantly avoids any satisfactory solution for practical agreement as the Geneva's Agreement says.

  • denies any UN negotiator appointed by the General Secretary (this figure was settled in the Geneva Agreement).

Therefore, why do both parts keep doing these and avoiding the diplomatic solutions settled in the Geneva Agreement? What do they gain with their rhetorical positions?

  • 8
    Money, of course.
    – Philipp
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


For reference, Ahead of oil riches, Guyana holds a decisive election - The Economist

Guyana has managed to find, with the help of expertise and resources from ExxonMobil, very significant oil deposits on its Atlantic shore, some of which are in the contested territory with Venezuela. ExxonMobil, together with The China National Offshore Oil Corporation, has seized this opportunity to make deals with Guyana about splitting oil profits from these deposits with Guyana. They don't provide just the business and process side of oil extraction but also protection and lobbying to secure this disputed territory of Guyana from the influence of Venezuela. Exxon is probably also not a fan of Venezuala after their oil plant in Venezuela was nationalised by the country in 2007.

There are forecasts which predict 85% GDP growth of Guyana just from the profits of the oil extraction in these new deposits.

On the legal side of things, the International Court of Justice in The Hague should have had preliminary hearings about the matter of oil extraction in the contested territory at the end of March.

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