Arcaya & Asociados
June 25, 2007
Venezuela expects to announce on Monday the results of talks with oil majors over the takeover of a majority stake in their projects, which could see some of the world's largest companies leave the OPEC nation.
President Hugo Chavez has said some companies have rejected his leftist government's terms for deals that hammer out the details for Venezuela to take at least a 60 percent stake in heavy-crude upgrading projects value above $30 billion.
The six targeted companies involved in four projects, which are capable of producing 600,000 barrels per day, are Exxon Mobil , ConocoPhillips , Chevron Corp. , Norway's Statoil , Britain's BP Plc and France's Total .
The government has singled out ConocoPhillips as the most resistant to the nationalization move, which Chavez decreed earlier in the year.
Exxon has also had tougher talks than most, especially because of wrangling over its project's value, industry officials have said.
The government has said the bulk of the companies are expected to agree to stay on in the projects with a smaller stake. It has not named which companies might leave.
A company that refuses to stay can either strike a deal for compensation of its assets and leave, or can exit and take Venezuela to court.
In a speech late on Friday, Chavez said the government would make public the results of the negotiations on Monday, a day before the deadline for the talks to conclude.
The government has insisted the companies end negotiations early because it does not want the news of the deals to distract from Tuesday's start to the Copa America, a prestigious national soccer tournament hosted by Venezuela, according to industry officials.