Foreign companies work with PDVSA in exploration risk contracts, operating agreements and strategic associations in deals signed during the 1990s when the government opened the oil sector to outside investment. CVP had previously handled exploration risk sharing contracts, and other PDVSA divisions ran the remaining joint ventures.
The government has been restructuring PDVSA this year following a crippling oil strike in December and January that was aimed at removing President Hugo Chavez. PDVSA fired more than 18,000 employees, about half its work force, for joining the strike and used troops and loyal replacement workers to restart the oil sector.
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