Friday, May 8, 2009

UPDATE 5-Venezuela soldiers seize oil service companies (WMB)

When Chavez expropriated the oil companies, there was at least the argument that the oil belonged to the people of Venezuela.
This on the other hand is nothing but bald-faced theft.
From Reuters:

* Venezuela military takes over some oil service companies

* Opens door to takeovers of major oil contractors

* Williams Companies Inc likely directly affected (Recasts with first takeovers, changes dateline, byline)

By Manuel Hernandez

MARACAIBO, Venezuela, May 7 (Reuters) - Venezuelan soldiers on Thursday took control of boatyards and other assets belonging to oil service companies in the latest step by socialist President Hugo Chavez to tighten his grip on the industry.

Earlier in the day, Venezuela's legislature approved a law allowing the nationalization of a group of oil service companies. Chavez said the takeovers would quickly start in the Lake Maracaibo oil heartland in the western state of Zulia.

"Tomorrow, we will start to recuperate assets and goods that will now belong to the state, as social property, as they should always have been," Chavez said, adding that thousands of workers would be taken on by state oil company PDVSA.

But members of a Zulia business group that represents local oil firms told Reuters soldiers seized the installations of 20 companies on the eastern side of the lake late on Thursday....MORE