A United States Commercial vessel was seized by Venezuela as it was doing seismic testing in Guyanan waters for Anadarko Petroleum Corp, when a Venezuelan ship detained it and is now escorting it to Margarita Island in Venezuela. For decades Gyana and Venezuela have disputed the borders, but this is the first incident to come out of it.
"It was then clear that the vessel and its crew were not only being escorted out of Guyana's waters, but were under arrest," the ministry said. "These actions by the Venezuelan naval vessel are unprecedented in Guyana Venezuela relations."
The Teknik Perdana is expected to land on Margarita Island sometime on Saturday. The ship has five Americans on board. The Guyana governement expressed it's grave concerns and demanded that the ship be released at once.
Guyana says that the ship was well within it's waters when it was seized, but Venezuela disputes that assertion.
Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez, said that his country was obligated to act when a ship of foreign origins is encroaching on it's sovereignty.
"We will jealously defend our country and our sovereignty."
The minister also confirmed that his country and Guyana had been having discussins on the oil but declined to say where those discussions have led to at this point.
John Christiansen, a spokesman for Anadarko, said that his company had a concession to search for oil Guyana waters and that his company and the federal government were working for the release of the crew and the vessel.
The US State Department had no comment at this time.