Chavez Pledges to Nationalize Power Company, Orinoco Projects

Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt
(Click to Enlarge)
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said Monday afternoon during a televised speech that he would nationalize at least one power company, the Orinoco oil upgrade projects and incumbent carrier Cantv.

The power and carrier assets were privatized during a brief experiment with free-market reform in the mid-1990s including power companies EDC and Seneca.

Chavez was speaking during a ceremony to swear in new and existing cabinet members.

Orinoco produces roughly 620,000b/d of extra-heavy crude in four projects: Ameriven, where state oil company PDVSA has 40%; Cerro Negro, where PDVSA has 41.67%; Sincor, where PDVSA has 38%; and Petrozuata, where the state company has 49.9%.

Private-sector partners include ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Statoil (NYSE: STO), Total (NYSE: TOT) and BP (NYSE: BP).

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