Chretien to raise CGX oil rig eviction

Stabroek News
January 16, 2001

The issue of the CGX Energy Inc oil rig is expected to be raised when Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien meets leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for a summit on Thursday and Friday in Jamaica.

The matter, according to a senior Canadian official, would be raised by Chretien when he meets Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson who had been appointed by CARICOM to mediate in the case.

The Canadian Prime Minister's intervention on behalf of the Toronto-based company, whose oil rig was forced from its position in Guyana's waters by Surinamese gunboats on June 3, 2000, will see him pressing their case for an early resolution of the century-old border dispute between Guyana and Suriname.

Guyana had in 1998, granted CGX an offshore exploration licence to drill for oil off its coast, but patrol boats from the neighbouring Dutch Republic had evicted the company's rig from the area.

Following the eviction, the Guyana government had protested the hostile and intimidatory actions of the Suriname Navy, which it had said posed a serious threat to the lives of CGX's personnel and property while they were conducting their legitimate activities within this country's maritime boundary.

Several bilateral meetings with delegations from the Suriname government on the issue failed to arrive at an amicable solution.

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