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News > Venezuela

Conservative Party Donors Are Involved in the Essequibo Issue

  • A maritime oil extraction platform.

    A maritime oil extraction platform. | Photo: X/ @venanalysis

Published 27 December 2023

British companies showed their interest in the Essequibo after the discovery of over 100 million barrels of oil reserves in 2015.

Declassified UK published an article revealing that attempts to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro may be linked to the interests of British, American, and French companies seeking control over the petroleum resources in the Essequibo region.


UK Deploys Military Ship to the Caribbean Sea, Venezuela Warns

Specifically, journalist Molly Antigone Hall's investigation disclosed that Barnaby Swire, a British entrepreneur who secured an oil offshore contract from the Guyanese government, donated substantial sums to the Conservative Party.

Declassified UK also found that Tullow Oil, which operates in the Essequibo maritime zone, is chaired by Dorothy Thompson, a non-executive director of the Bank of England Tribunal.

Despite its purported independence from political pressures, this financial institution withheld £800 million in international reserves belonging to the Bolivarian nation.

"The UK has vested interests in how the dispute proceeds and seems to be leveraging its influence to ensure Guyana retains jurisdiction over the area. Venezuelan control would likely result in a less favorable stance towards British companies," noted Hall.

In 2017, Greg Quinn, the British High Commissioner in Guyana, acknowledged that British companies' interest had increased significantly after the discovery of over 100 million barrels of offshore oil reserves in 2015.

Hall emphasized, "Several other companies benefiting from oil offshore Guyana have a history of financing British politicians. Royal Dutch Shell, securing the rights to market Guyana’s initial crude oil cargoes, contributed over £25,000 to Labour Party politicians from 2005 to 2012."

The investigative journalist added that Total Oil & Gas, a French company with offshore exploration licenses from Guyana, donated over £11,000 to various British politicians in the past decade. She also highlighted the involvement of the UK military in the issue.

"In July 2016, Britain’s Royal Navy provided a one-week crash course to four Guyanese personnel on protecting their Exclusive Economic Zone – the water stretch 200 nautical miles from Guyana’s shoreline, housing the oil fields," recalled Declassified UK.

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