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Venezuela seizes last private oil fields in challenge to multinationals

Venezuela seizes last private oil fields in challenge to multinationals

President Hugo Chavez's government took over Venezuela's last remaining privately run oil fields on Tuesday, intensifying a decisive struggle with Big Oil over the future of one of the world's most lucrative oil deposits.
Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez declared that the oil fields had reverted to state control just after midnight in a televised ceremony. Oil workers in hard hats raised the flags of Venezuela and the national oil company a refinery and four drilling fields in the oil-rich Orinoco River basin. Chavez planned a more elaborate celebration Tuesday afternoon with red-clad oil workers, soldiers and a fly-over by Russian-made fighter jets.
The companies ceding control include BP PLC, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., France's Total SA and Norway's Statoil ASA. All but ConocoPhillips have agreed in principle to state control, and Venezuela has warned it may expropriate ConocoPhillips assets if the company doesn't follow suit.


Updated : 2021-04-17 04:17 GMT+08:00