ExxonMobil ship approached by Venezuelan navy off Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — An executive at Norwegian-based petroleum company PGS says that a seismic ship hired by ExxonMobil was approached by a Venezuelan naval vessel in disputed waters off the coast of Guyana.

PGS Vice President Bard Stenberg says the Venezuelans did not board the ship and have since left the area.

He declined to provide details of Saturday's exchange, but said that the PGS vessel had not resumed operations and was now heading eastward.

The ship had been conducting a seismic survey in an oil-rich area off Guyana's coast that Venezuela has long claimed as its own. He said the ship was working under Guyanese authority and had all required permits.

ExxonMobil in a statement said that it was working to ensure the safety of all crew members.