< HOME  Monday, April 17, 2006

Chavez to Foreign Oil Companies: Use it or Lose It

Venezuela reclaimed more than 10,700 square miles in potential drilling acreage from private oil companies last month by requiring them to join new state-controlled joint ventures . . . [a]mid efforts by the [government] to take greater control of the oil industry and boost its share of revenues[.]

Under the new terms, [the state oil company] took at least a 60 percent stake in each [of 32 oil fields], hiked taxes and royalties, and took back drilling acreage that it claimed the companies had failed to invest in.

[Venezuela said] that companies were compensated for changes.

Unnamed foreign companies received a total of $900 million in "investment bonds" for use in new joint ventures to develop the oil acreage that was seized[.]

Oil companies such as Chevron Corp. (CVX), Brazil's Petrobras, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) lost oil acreage to [state-owned] PDVSA during the contract negotiations.

Venezuela is a founding member of OPEC and was the fourth-largest supplier of U.S. oil imports in 2005.
Something tells me it's time for regime change in Venezuela.


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