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Guyana: Venezuela Detains US Oil Ship Crew, College Station Company's Employees on Board

By: KBTX Staff, The Associated Press, The Washington Post Email
By: KBTX Staff, The Associated Press, The Washington Post Email
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GEORGETOWN, Guyana Two employees at a College Station company are among those on board an oil exploration vessel detained by the Venezuelan Navy.

The government of Guyana says the ship, the RV Teknik Perdana operated by Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum was ordered to divert Thursday to Margarita Island in Venezuela and its U.S. - based crew remains held there.

36 people were on board, including 5 U.S. citizens, 2 of which are employed by College Station-based TDI Brooks International.

News 3 spoke with Peter Tatro, the Director of Operations for TDI Brooks International Sunday, who confirmed the vessel arrived to Margarita Island 6 a.m. Venezuela time Sunday.

The company located on South Dowling Road was contracted to do an acoustic survey of the ocean floor.

"Two of the employees on the vessel are TDI Brooks employees. The crew and our employees are all safe and healthy and in good spirits. It's our hope that this will work itself our fairly quickly," said Tatro by phone.

Tatro confirmed there was open communication still between he and his employees aboard the vessel.

"Obviously our focus is the rapid release of the crew and getting them back to their families, the broader issue is one of sovereignty issue between Venezuela and Guyana and that’s not something I can comment on.”

Guyana says the ship was well within the country's exclusive economic zone while conducting a seismic survey of the seafloor when it was stopped by the Venezuelan Navy.

But Venezuela claims the vessel was within its territorial waters and called the action a serious threat to the peace in the region.

*Associated Press Story*

The government of Guyana says the Venezuelan navy has detained the crew of an oil exploration vessel operated by Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum in waters disputed by the two South American nations.

Guyana's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the RV Teknik Perdana was ordered by a Venezuelan navy ship to divert to Margarita Island in Venezuela and its U.S.-based crew remains held there.

Guyana says the ship was well within the country's exclusive economic zone while conducting a seismic survey of the seafloor when it was stopped Thursday by the Venezuelan navy. The ministry said in a statement Friday that Venezuela claims the vessel was within its territorial waters.

The ministry called the action a "serious threat to the peace" in the region. An Anadarko spokesman had no immediate comment.

According to the Washington Post:

The total number of crew members was not available, but there were at least five U.S. citizens, including Anadarko contractors and employees of TDI Brooks International, a company based in College Station, Texas, which was contracted to do the acoustic survey of the ocean floor.

Peter Tatro, the director of operations for TDI, said the company is in contact with its employees.

"The people are fine. Our concern is just sort of what happens next," Tatro said. "We don't know what to expect when they arrive in Venezuela."


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