CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Texas company that chartered an oil research ship seized last week by Venezuela said Tuesday that it expects the vessel and its international crew to be released soon.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. spokesman John Christiansen said that Venezuelan authorities had treated those aboard the Panamanian-flagged ship in a "respectful manner" and that the vessel "will reportedly be released in the near future."
Venezuelan Adm. Angel Belisario Martinez told reporters late Tuesday that the ship could leave "after a few more administrative steps." He gave no indication of how long that might take.
The Attorney General's Office said the ship's Ukrainian captain had been charged with violating Venezuela's exclusive economic zone. Martinez did not say if the captain would be allowed to leave with the rest of the crew.
The ship and its 36-man crew have been anchored since Sunday off Margarita Island in the Caribbean. The crew includes five Americans and workers from Russia, Indonesia, Brazil and other countries.