Oil and gas create conflict near Isla Bolanos

    The border definition would affect the rights of potential multimillionares

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    Executive summary:

    Having the right to exploit the potential multi-million dollar deposits of oil and gas below the Pacific Ocean could be one of the reasons for the dispute with Nicaragua near Isla Bolanos. There are several potential deposits of natural gas and oil in the North Pacific of Costa Rica, including the border area, said Robert Dobles.

    It could also simply be a nationalist stance before the country’s November elections, said Manuel Gonzalez, Foreign Minister of Costa Rica.

    Last week, the administration of Daniel Ortega awarded the Uruguayan Union Group, a subsidiary of Union Oil and Gas, a contract to explore several areas of the Pacific Coast, even in areas adjacent to the border with Costa Rica.

    Founded in 2006, Union Group is chaired by Juan Sartori, born in Montevideo in 1981 and educated in Management and Economics at Harvard, as well as the Hautes Etudes Commerciales of Switzerland.

    Union Oil and Gas has investments in various parts of the continent in agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and real estate, controlled by Juan Sartori. In terms of the energy sector, the company has investments in Paraguay and Peru, as well as in their own country of Uruguay. Union Group is also one of the greatest Uruguayan landowners, with 180,000 hectares of land, as well as one of the leading exporters of agricultural products.

    The agreement with the oil company Petronic State will allow Union Oil and Gas to begin operations along four blocks on the high seas in the Sandino basin. “This is a great step toward our establishment of a major oil and gas operation,” said Guzman Fernandez, executive director of the company.

    It could be a similar strategy to the Portillo Island in the delta of the Rio San Juan in the Caribbean Sea, which has undefined maritime boundaries between Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Pacific, added the former Minister of Energy. The country awaits a favorable rights definition that would make them the owner of the point on the map from which the maritime border is drawn.

    The contract with Union Oil and Gas is the second signed by Nicaragua in the last year.

    In 2015, Statoil came to an agreement with the Ortega Administration to develop other blocks in the Pacific. The tenth first-world company in natural gas and oil, with about 25,000 employees in 36 countries, Statoil is controlled by the Norwegian public, while one-third of the titles are listed on the stock exchanges.

    Nicaragua is also exploring the potential wells for oil and natural gas in the Caribbean, although it is unknown if they will find deposits in any of the coasts.

    Meanwhile, Costa Rica has banned oil and gas exploration.


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