Nicaragua Is Prudent

Expert contrasts assumptions made by Costa Rica

The expert in international law, Mauricio Herdocia, said that Nicaragua has been careful to give concessions for oil exploration in remote sea areas where a dispute can be raised with neighbouring countries.

Therefore, Herdocia sees baseless Costa Rica’s “warning to the Norwegian oil company, Statoil, on the likely occurrence of “illegal acts that undermine the sovereignty of Costa Rica waters.”

The Norwegianc company denies any exploration in Costa Rican waters. See report here.

The president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, on Friday warned the oil company that it’s undertaking is in an area of maritime delimitation it is disputing with Nicaragua and that the company will not be able to claim any compensation if the International Court of Justice ( ICJ) rules in its (Costa Rica) favour.

“It is important to know that companies involved in that part of the ocean could be doing so illegally and without much information, undermining the sovereignty of Costa Rica waters,” said Solis during his visit to Paris, France, as part of his European tour.

The Costa Rican president also said that “if a company gets into any Costa Rican waters, that they know and be absolutely clear that Costa Rica will not respect the agreements signed with the country that usurped our national territory”.

Herdocia told EFE “obviously, Nicaragua has mapped out what it considers its territory and provides the international investment community the possibility of exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, but so far Nicaragua has been prudent, both in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, so that the concessions have been remote from the centres of dispute, precisely to avoid any claim about it.”

In May 2015 Statoil together with partner the  Empresa Nicaraguense del Petroleo Petronic – Petronic (Nicaragua state oild company) was awarded four licences offshore the Nicaraguan Pacific.  The licences cover an area of about 16,000 square kilometres in the Sandino Basin. Statoil is the operator with 85% equity with Petronic participating with the remaining equity.