Guyana's government says it plans to formally ask the United Nations to intervene and help resolve an escalating border dispute with neighboring Venezuela.

Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge said in a statement Saturday that it is time for what he called a "judicial settlement."

Venezuela has long claimed about two-thirds of Guyana west of the Essequibo river as well as a large marine area where Exxon Mobil Corp. has said it made a significant oil discovery.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to participate in a Caribbean trade bloc meeting in Barbados in early July.