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Old January 29th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #81
brisavoine
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Here are the most populated urban areas in overseas France according to the results of the latest census published by INSEE earlier this month. For each urban area I've added a map of the urban area (note that the maps are not at the same scale).

1- Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe): 177,113 inhabitants (in Jan. 2007)
[img]http://i50.************/2hrcuv9.png[/img]

2- Fort-de-France (Martinique): 172,422 inhabitants (in Jan. 2007)
[img]http://i50.************/20st0ys.png[/img]

3- Saint-Denis (Réunion): 171,876 inhabitants (in Jan. 2007)
[img]http://i48.************/2ryr975.png[/img]

4- Nouméa (New Caledonia): 163,723 inhabitants (in Aug. 2009)
[img]http://i47.************/xfq6th.png[/img]

5- Saint-Pierre (Réunion): 145,804 inhabitants (in Jan. 2007)
[img]http://i46.************/2jdmmfm.png[/img]

6- Papeete (French Polynesia): 131,695 inhabitants (in Aug. 2007)
[img]http://i48.************/260zz1v.png[/img]

7- Cayenne (French Guiana): 101,412 inhabitants (in Jan. 2007)
[img]http://i48.************/nybvgj.png[/img]

8- Saint-Paul (Réunion): 101,023 inhabitants (in Jan. 2007)
[img]http://i47.************/4vics7.png[/img]

Last edited by brisavoine; January 29th, 2010 at 10:36 PM.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 09:28 PM   #82
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Construction update of the 21-floor office tower at the Pointe Simon, on the seafront of downtown Fort-de-France, Martinique. The structure is now emerging above ground.

When it's completed, the tower will be 105.5 meters (346 feet) high, the tallest building in the Lesser Antilles and in all of Overseas France too. The pictures here were taken last week.

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Old February 21st, 2010, 10:16 PM   #83
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News of the international bridge between France and Brazil over the Oyapock River, separating the French overseas department of French Guiana and the Brazilian state of Amapá. According to what a local Brazilian journalist wrote on his blog, work on the bridge has already started (he visited the bridge this week). They plan to complete the bridge and open it to traffic in October of this year, because president Lula da Silva would very much like to cross the bridge hand in hand with Nicolas Sarkozy before the end of his presidency (Lula's presidency ends on Jan. 1, 2011).

I can't wait for the bridge to open, and to see the first pictures. A Franco-Brazilian border point is going look so surreal...

Here's what the journalist posted on his blog 3 days ago:
Quote:
Quinta-feira, Fevereiro 18, 2010
Brasil constrói ponte de R$ 56 milhões para se ligar à Guiana Francesa pelo Oiapoque

É uma jóia da arquitetura, a ponte que ligará o Brasil à França, cruzando o Rio Oiapoque.

Fui ver de perto as obras, que estão começando.

Meta é inaugurar em outubro, pois o presidente Lula quer cruzar os mais de 200 metros de braços dados com o colega Sarkozy.

A construção está a cargo de um consórcio entre a Egesa e a CMT, ambas com sede em Brasília e escritórios em Minas Gerais. A Funcab, Fundação Professor Carlos Augusto Bittencourt, foi contratada para cuidar da Supervisão Ambiental do empreendimento - atentar para que a obra não agrida a natureza.

Depois vou dando mais detalhes, pois sou o coordenador da Comunicação Social do projeto ambiental.

Veja que beleza de imagem.

http://marciog.blogspot.com/2010/02/...6-milhoes.html
Map of the area (the bridge is between the Brazilian town of Oiapoque and the French town of Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock):


A render of the bridge:
[img]http://i50.************/33y2wz4.png[/img]

The municipality of Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock, on the French side of the border, with its new female Black mayor (center of the picture):


Oiapoque, on the Brazilian side of the border ("Here begins Brazil"):
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 04:21 AM   #84
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Nice bridge

Looks a lot better than what Jules Wijdenbosch built on the Suriname river in 2000:





Finances are also better I suppose. Jules financed it by printing extra money

In any case, having a bridge is better than not having one. With this one nearing completion, and with the East-West road in Suriname being refurbished, I'm thinking about doing a road trip from Paramaribo to Macapá.

The only obstacle then is the Maroni river between Albina and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni.

Wanna go for a ride brisavoine?
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 04:22 AM   #85
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Report on France 24 (English):

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Old February 23rd, 2010, 05:57 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Го́голь View Post
The only obstacle then is the Maroni river between Albina and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni.
They have barge services there for people with cars I think. No bridge is currently planned (the Maroni River is much wider than the Oyapock River, and Suriname is not as big a country as Brazil, so people in French Guiana don't seem to care).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Го́голь View Post
Wanna go for a ride brisavoine?
Actually a road trip from Cayenne to the Amazon River would be nice, driving on the bridge when it opens. From Cayenne to the Franco-Brazilian border, the road is now fully paved, European standard, so it takes only 3 to 4 hours. From the Franco-Brazilian border to the Amazon River, the road is still largely unpaved, so it would take at least one day to reach the Amazon River, or maybe two days.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 06:06 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Го́голь View Post
Report on France 24 (English):

That's why we need France 24! I couldn't image the same informative and cliché-free report on an international Anglo-Saxon news channel.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 09:02 PM   #88
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Well it's a bit far fetched to call French Guyana 'France'. Politically and economically maybe, but geographically and culturally no way.

A bridge between France and Brazil would have to cross the Atlantic because France is in Europe.

Furthermore, go there and ask the inhabitants (whatever their background - French-American, Afro-American or Indo-American) if they are in France - they'll just laugh at you.

When you call overseas departments France, you sound like a colonialist. Call them DOM-TOM or whatever like most French people i've met do.

Hopefully now France will invest heavily in Haiti, promote it's language and values and maybe it will become an overseas territory, reaping the political and economic benefits.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 12:07 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qompass View Post
Furthermore, go there and ask the inhabitants (whatever their background - French-American, Afro-American or Indo-American) if they are in France - they'll just laugh at you.
Indeed I suggest you go there and you ask them. That will be an eye opener for you. Their reactions won't be exactly as you seem to expect them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by qompass View Post
When you call overseas departments France, you sound like a colonialist.
Actually it's you who would sound like a colonialist by not calling them France. People there are very sensitive when it comes to that, they want to be treated like any other part of France, and they don't like to be treated separately, as proven again recently with those autonomy referendums that they unequivocally rejected. Until the 1990s, the French statitical office INSEE used to treat the overseas departments separately from the rest of France (not including them in the French figures for example), and people in the overseas departments resented that, so they became very vocal and asked for their inclusion in the French figures like any other part of France, and that was finally granted in the late 1990s. That's just one example.

Some people in the overseas department go even as far as criticizing the name "Metropolitan France", which they find too colonial (they prefer Metropolitan France to be called "the European territory of France"). And you think they don't consider themselves as part of France?
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Old February 24th, 2010, 02:12 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
They have barge services there for people with cars I think. No bridge is currently planned (the Maroni River is much wider than the Oyapock River, and Suriname is not as big a country as Brazil, so people in French Guiana don't seem to care).
Actually a feasibility study is currently being performed on that bridge, and if you use the island in front of the airport it shouldn't be so hard. With the recent bridge mania in Suriname (Coppename Bridge (1999), Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge (2000), (second) Saramacca Bridge (~2012)) and with the recent reconstruction of the Eastern section of the East-West Link, a bridge doesn't seem too unlikely to me.

The reconstruction of the Eastern part is funded by the Agence Française de Développement (and the European Union, Inter-American Development Bank) by the way, so that indicates that France at least takes an interest in the Surinamese East-West Link.

You can find pretty extensive information in English on this project on this Wikipedia article, if you're interested: East-West Link (Suriname)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Actually a road trip from Cayenne to the Amazon River would be nice, driving on the bridge when it opens. From Cayenne to the Franco-Brazilian border, the road is now fully paved, European standard, so it takes only 3 to 4 hours. From the Franco-Brazilian border to the Amazon River, the road is still largely unpaved, so it would take at least one day to reach the Amazon River, or maybe two days.
I want to able to speak Dutch on at least a part of this trip, damnit! . I suppose I have to get a Germanic travel buddy to be able to do this . Are you in Kampflamm?
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Old February 24th, 2010, 02:25 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Го́голь View Post
and with the recent reconstruction of the Eastern section of the East-West Link, a bridge doesn't seem too unlikely to me.
It takes two to tango, and unfortunately it seems the French Guianese are not really interested in a bridge over the Maroni River. They were already a bit reluctant to the Franco-Brazilian bridge, but the large size of Brazil convinced France to do it nonetheless (although after years of procrastination). For A Franco-Surinamese bridge it's gonna be much more complicated to move things forward...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Го́голь View Post
I want to able to speak Dutch on at least a part of this trip, damnit! . I suppose I have to get a Germanic travel buddy to be able to do this . Are you in Kampflamm?
Kampflamm never goes west further than Sedan I'm afraid.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 02:58 AM   #92
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Why is the Agence Française de Développement then helping to reconstruct if they're not really interested?

The Takatu River Bridge between (British) Guyana and Brazil was opened in September 2009 by the way. It seems like the Guyanas are FINALLY becoming less isolated:


Complete with a crossover bridge to change from the left to right side of the road:


The Economist about this bridge:

Quote:
Guyana
Guyana and Brazil
Jan 11th 2007
From The Economist print edition


A PONTOON ferry putters on demand across the Takutu river not far from the small border towns of Lethem in Guyana and Bomfim in Brazil. It is the only surface link between two countries that have traditionally ignored each other. Guyana, though geographically part of South America, has colonial and linguistic links with the English-speaking Caribbean. Most of its 750,000 people live within a few miles of the Atlantic coast. Portuguese-speaking Brazil has looked to its Spanish-speaking neighbours.

This mutual indifference is slowly changing. In December Brazil's government agreed to spend $3m on a bridge over the Takutu; work may start later this month. Or rather restart: an earlier attempt ground to a halt five years ago, when the Brazilian courts detected financial irregularities.

There are bureaucratic hurdles to cross too. A road-transport agreement has not yet yielded a system for insuring vehicles on short cross-border visits. A trade agreement was signed in June 2001, but Bomfim is not yet an official point of entry for goods. While legal Guyanese exports are blocked, illicit cross-border trafficking in guns, drugs and diamonds thrives.

A dirt road links Lethem to Georgetown, Guyana's capital, but carries only five or so vehicles a day each way. Most cross-border travellers are Brazilian garimpeiros, who mine gold and diamonds in Guyana's interior. A Brazilian airline runs a turbo-prop service from Georgetown to the Brazilian town of Boa Vista.

There is potential for much more. A Brazilian company wants to grow sugar cane for ethanol on a large scale in eastern Guyana. Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, a Brazilian mining giant, is interested in Guyanese bauxite, and there is talk of Petrobras getting involved in oil exploration.

The interest is mutual. "More people are looking south. We see it as a huge possibility," says Bharrat Jagdeo, Guyana's president. "We have a deep water harbour. If the road from Boa Vista was upgraded, it would cut three days for traffic from Manaus to the Atlantic." Maybe, though there are environmental objections and the deep water port has yet to be built. But diplomatic ties are growing. Guyana attends the annual South American summit; last year it chaired the Rio Group of Latin American nations. Georgetown is "twinned" with Boa Vista. The bridge may serve a purpose.
source: http://www.economist.com/world/ameri...ory_id=8525813
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Old February 24th, 2010, 04:38 AM   #93
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I'm sorry to prove you wrong, but it is actually the Frenchies who are the driving force behind the Albina to Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni Bridge project:

In broken English (Google translate):
Quote:
Merger of Suriname and French Guyana?
WEDNESDAY, 20 AUGUST 2008

Now Suriname prepares for the reconstruction of the East-West corridor between Albina and Meerzorg for 70 million euros, the French want to speed up the construction of a permanent connection. Suriname would therefore make firm agreements with France for freight and passenger traffic when the bridge on the Maroni River might be a fact. Both countries are in agreement that the bridge crossing is necessary.

The first estimates indicate that this project is going to cost more than 50 million U.S. dollars. The bridge is a key role between Suriname and French Guiana, because together with Venezuela and Guyana, part of the northern axis in the ambitious Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure of South American countries on the continent, IIRSA. A few points are therefore the most important commitment to formal negotiations yet to begin. It has little effect, especially if the movement remains the same. Whether there is in the visa facilitation agreements between the countries, or should be completely abolished. Suriname truck drivers would also easily their destination in French Guiana to reach. In Suriname the bridge a great economic importance because trade with eastern neighbors to flourish.

The shallow channel in the Maroni River to the New Haven a crucial role to play in the goods to that country. Soon, the feasibility study started on the possibilities of this infrastructural project. The study should include the bridge construction will specify the exact costs involved with the project, and the exact spot where the crossing will be constructed. Parallel will soon start with the complete rehabilitation of the East-West corridor between Meerzorg and Albina, a key requirement of the French with a view to the (traffic) safety. "Within three years we hope to be driving the first pile," says an optimistic Rick van Ravenswaay, Minister for Planning and Development (Plos). In 2010, namely to Albina wegstrekking are delivered. The crossing will also mean a relief for the 30,000 French tourists who annually visit Suriname. Largely a shop, because Suriname is relatively cheap for them.
Dutch original:
Quote:
Fusie Suriname en Frans Guyana?
WOENSDAG, 20 AUGUSTUS 2008

Nu Suriname aanstalten maakt om de Oost-Westverbinding tussen Meerzorg en Albina voor 70 miljoen euro te herstellen, willen de Fransen vaart zetten achter de bouw van een vaste oeververbinding. Suriname wil daarom harde afspraken met Frankrijk maken betreffende het goederen- en personenverkeer wanneer de brug over de Marowijnerivier een feit mocht zijn. Beide landen zijn het er in grote lijnen over eens dat de oeververbinding noodzakelijk is.

De eerste schattingen geven aan dat dit project meer dan 50 miljoen US dollar kan gaan kosten. De brug gaat een sleutelrol vervullen tussen Suriname en Frans-Guyana, omdat zij samen met Guyana en Venezuela, onderdeel uitmaken van de noordelijke as in het ambitieus Initiatief voor de Integratie van de Regionale Infrastructuur van de landen op het Zuid-Amerikaans continent, IIRSA. Een paar punten worden dan ook dé belangrijkste inzet bij de officiële onderhandelingen die nog moeten beginnen. Het heeft bijvoorbeeld weinig zin als vooral het personenverkeer hetzelfde blijft. Of er komt versoepeling in de visa-afspraken tussen de landen, of het moet helemaal worden afgeschaft. Ook zouden Surinaamse vrachtwagenchauffeurs zonder moeite hun bestemming in Frans-Guyana moeten kunnen bereiken. Voor Suriname heeft de brug een grote economische betekenis, omdat de handel met de oosterburen kan gaan floreren.

Door de ondiepe vaargeul in de Marowijnerivier kan de Nieuwe Haven namelijk een cruciale rol gaan vervullen in het goederenverkeer naar dat land. Binnenkort wordt de haalbaarheidsstudie gestart over de mogelijkheden van dit infrastructurele project. De studie moet onder meer aangeven welke constructie de brug krijgt, de exacte kosten die met het project gemoeid gaan en de plek waar de oeververbinding precies zal worden aangelegd. Parallel hieraan wordt binnen afzienbare tijd gestart met de complete rehabilitatie van de Oost-Westverbinding tussen Meerzorg en Albina, een belangrijke eis van de Fransen met het oog op de (verkeers) veiligheid. "Binnen drie jaren hopen we dan de eerste paal te kunnen heien", zegt een optimistische Rick van Ravenswaay, minister voor Planning en Ontwikkelingssamenwerking (Plos). In 2010 moet namelijk de wegstrekking naar Albina zijn opgeleverd. De oeververbinding zal ook een opluchting betekenen voor de ruim 30.000 Franse toeristen die Suriname jaarlijks bezoeken. Grotendeels om er inkopen te doen, omdat Suriname voor hen vrij goedkoop is.
Source: http://www.indianfeelings.nl/fusie-s...s-guyana?.html

Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA) project page: http://www.iirsa.org/proyectos/detal...cto.aspx?h=201
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Old February 24th, 2010, 05:20 AM   #94
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Yikes! A more recent article is even more promising

Translated by myself this time:
Quote:
Bridge between Suriname and French Guyana becomes more substantial
Published on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 om 3:42 am in Economie, Nieuws uit Suriname, Toerisme

PARAMARIBO, 17 jun – The idea to build a bridge spanning the Marowijne River becomes ever more substantial. The European Union allocates money for a feasibility study. This is what was agreed upon on the first Amazonia Conference with French Guyana's two neighbouring countries.

French Guyana and the Brazilian states of Macapa, Para and Amazonas want to cooperate more closely. The feasibility study for a bridge will be one of the first common projects for this group. The EU allocates more than 13 million dollars, the largest part of the money needed. “It is of course aid that is offered. One would be stupid not to accept,” says Surinamese minister Ricardo van Ravenswaay of Planning & Development Cooperation.

Though not a direct priority for Suriname, the project comes in handy. Passenger traffic with French Guyana keeps increasing. “Every your we hand out 30.000-40.000 visas, so the need for a better connection is definately there”, according to Van Ravenswaay. In the meantime the ferry connection is improved. Money is allocated to that project as well.
Dutch original:
Quote:
Brug Suriname-Frans Guyana krijgt vastere vorm
Geplaatst op Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 om 3:42 am in Economie, Nieuws uit Suriname, Toerisme

PARAMARIBO, 17 jun – Het idee om een brug te bouwen over de Marowijnerivier krijgt steeds meer vorm. De Europese Unie maakt geld vrij voor een haalbaarheidsstudie. Dit is overeengekomen op de eerste Amazonia Conferentie met twee buurlanden.

Frans Guyana en de drie Braziliaanse staten Macapa, Para en Amazonas willen nauwer gaan samenwerken. De studie wordt één van de eerste gemeenschappelijke projecten. De EU geeft ruim dertien miljoen dollar, het grootste deel van wat nodig is. “Uiteraard is het hulp die geboden wordt. Je zou dom zijn te zeggen dat je het niet doet”, zegt minister Ricardo van Ravenswaay van Planning & Ontwikkelingssamenwerking.

Hoewel niet direct een prioriteit komt het project handig uit. Het personenverkeer met oostelijk buurland Frans Guyana wordt steeds intensiever. “Per jaar verstrekken we zeker dertig tot veertigduizend visa. Dus er is behoefte aan een betere verbinding”, aldus Van Ravenswaay. In de tussentijd wordt de veerverbinding aangepakt. Ook daar wordt geld voor uitgetrokken.
Source: http://www.waterkant.net/suriname/20...-vastere-vorm/
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 04:14 AM   #95
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Bad news for the tram-train in Réunion. The center-right UMP party has won the regional elections in Réunion tonight, which only 2 weeks ago seemed totally impossible. The UMP has said they were opposed to the tram-train, which was the pet project of the Communists who ruled Réunion until now. So it looks like the project, which would have been a good thing for Réunion, has an uncertain status now. However many people believe the UMP opposed the tram-train only for political reasons to make things complicated for the Communists, and now that they have won power they will back the project (albeit with a few changes just to pretend they have dramatically improved upon the initial Communist project). This could nonetheless delay the tram-train project by a few months, or even a year or two, given the length of administrative procedures.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 11:58 PM   #96
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Construction of the international bridge over the Oyapock River between France and Brazil is now in full swing. The bridge should be completed before the end of this year. Here are some pictures taken last March. It will be the southernmost land border crossing of the European Union and the Schengen Area.

[img]http://i49.************/2nte1si.png[/img]



The river may look narrow...


... but look at the size of the boat for an idea of scale
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Old June 25th, 2010, 05:41 AM   #97
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They unveiled the new ferry terminal in Fort de France

image hosted on flickr


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Old July 5th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #98
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Construction update of Pointe Simon tower in Fort-de-France (Martinique):

image hosted on flickr


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Photos by Skyhig.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 01:21 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Construction of the international bridge over the Oyapock River between France and Brazil is now in full swing. The bridge should be completed before the end of this year. Here are some pictures taken last March. It will be the southernmost land border crossing of the European Union and the Schengen Area.

[img]http://i49.************/2nte1si.png[/img]



The river may look narrow...


... but look at the size of the boat for an idea of scale
Looks great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
It will be the southernmost land border crossing of the European Union and the Schengen Area.
French Guiana is not in Schengen
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Old August 13th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #100
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$$$ (or rather €€€) for French Guiana.
Quote:
Shell Gets Into the Other South American Offshore Oil Race

Wall Street Journal
November 11, 2009

Ever since oil was discovered offshore Ghana in 2007, the world’s oil explorers have been eyeing Guyana. Non-geologists might find that a bit of a leap.

But for Big Oil, there’s a big connection. Africa and South America were once joined, but were separated tens of millions of years ago by continental shift. So many believe the oil-bearing structures in Ghana’s huge Jubilee field could be replicated on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, in places like Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.


New frontier, same geology

One company that has bet big on the theory is Tullow Oil PLC, a plucky UK-based explorer that is one of the partners in Jubilee.

Tullow says it has identiified “numerous” Jubilee-type leads offshore French Guiana. It began seismic testing over 3,000 square kilometers of its permit area in September and hopes to drill its first exploration well there by the end of next year. It also has interests in Suriname and Guyana.

Now the big guys are taking the trail blazed by Tullow. Royal Dutch Shell plc announced Wednesday it had acquired a 33% interest in Tullow’s Maritime permit in French Guiana and has an option to buy 12% more later. The purchase, Shell said, “adds quality acreage to our deep water portfolio in the Americas.”

Shell is not the first supermajor to dip its toes in the waters of northern South America. Exxon Mobil Corp. has exploration rights in the huge Stabroek block offshore Guyana, though it’s tight-lipped about what it’s found there. Smaller companies like Canadian independent CGX Energy are also present there.

But the area remains one of the most under-explored in the world. There’s some data from the 1970s, when Elf Aquitaine and Exxon drilled two dry wells. But from then on it was virtually ignored by the majors. That’s changed with the discovery of Jubilee.

The idea that areas on either side of oceans could have the same oil-bearing structures is now well-established. After billions of barrels of oil were found in the “pre-salt” areas offshore Brazil, many began to wonder whether the ultra-deep waters off the coast of Angola, directly across the Atlantic, might bring forth similar treasures.

Meanwhile, for Shell, the Tullow deal makes perfect sense. Like all the majors, it’s struggled to add reserves and increase production as it’s shut out from the more traditional oil-producing areas.

French Guiana might be a leap in the dark– but one that could yield rich returns for a company eager to beef up its exploration portfolio.

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalca...hore-oil-race/
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