Nicaragua leasing Tico territory for oil drilling, ministry says

The country has issued an energetic protest to Nicaragua because that neighbor to the north has included Tico territory in offshore drilling concessions that are being put out to bid, according to the foreign ministry.

The concession sections are in the Pacific and in the Caribbean, said the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.

Costa Rica said it demanded the Nicaragua withdraw immediately the material with which the country is promoting the exploration sections that will be offered as concessions. The material was prepared by the Ministerio de Energía y Minas de Nicaragua last year, the ministry said.

The ministry said that a letter delivered to the Nicaraguan Embassy in San José Monday morning contained a map that clearly shows that some of the concession sections are in the Costa Rican maritime territory.

Costa Rica opposes petroleum drilling on land or at sea. Nicaragua has offered concessions on 16 sections in the Pacific and 55 in the Caribbean, according to the ministry. It also said that Nicaragua did this once before, in 2002.

The country will take steps to notify potential bidders of the encroachment, said the ministry.

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