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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guyana submitted its Continental Shelf claim

By Denis Scott Chabrol
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 1615

Guyana on Wednesday announced that it has asked the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to extend the South American nation's continental shelf in the hope of tapping into oil and gas reserves there.

Foreign Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said the submission made Tuesday seeks to add another 150 nautical miles from the 200 nautical mile outer limit of Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Acknowledging that there would be overlaps, she said Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname have also submitted similar requests to UNCLOS. She explained that Guyana’s submission of a claim to an extended continental shelf has been made without prejudice to any future delimitation of maritime boundaries with neighbouring States.
Guyana has acted in its interest and has taken action to ensure that in the future it has the legal basis to benefit from and protect its rights,” said Burkett.
Guyana’s application would be initially considered in April 2012 but a final decision could take years.
The submission of the application is based on a study done by the British Commonwealth and the German Institute of Geosciences to determine whether local and overseas data proves that Guyana can make a claim for an extended continental shelf.
Guyana last year passed its own modern Maritime Zones Act, aimed at protecting resources in its maritime zones and to protect our rights in and to them.
The United Nations Commission on the Law of the Sea in September 2007 ruled in Guyana’s favour for the establishment of the maritime boundary with neighbouring Suriname. In June 2000, Surinamese gun-boats had chased out a Canadian oil exploration rig from that area, claiming it to be territory of the former Dutch colony.

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