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Chavez Regime Nationalizes U.S. Oil Rigs
The New American ^ | 6/29/2010 | Alex Newman

Posted on 06/29/2010 12:43:25 PM PDT by IbJensen

After socializing and devastating vast swaths of the Venezuelan economy, socialist “President” Hugo Chavez announced that his government was nationalizing a fleet of oil rigs owned by an American firm.

Oklahoma-based drilling company Helmerich & Payne stopped production with its 11 rigs after a conflict with Venezuela’s state-owned oil conglomerate PDVSA, which defaulted on its nearly $50 million bill after the collapse in oil prices. So rather than make payment, the Venezuelan regime decided to take over the equipment.

"Our dispute with PDVSA has never been very complicated and our position has remained clear: We simply wanted to be paid for work already performed. We stated repeatedly we wanted to return to work, just not for free,” said Helmerich & Payne CEO Hans Helmerich in a statement.

“We have been in ongoing efforts in a good faith attempt to accommodate a win-win resolution, including a willingness to sell rigs,” he added. The Venezuelan government has indicated that it plans to offer some sort of compensation, but details remain murky.

"Our workers are now in control of the rigs," said PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. — the state-owned oil company) president and Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who noted that Chevron could also lose up to five rigs. "We are not going to let the private companies stop work or boycott in any way our oil operations."

Ramirez also suggested that other non-cooperating firms could have their assets seized, saying there was an ongoing plot to undermine the success of Chavez’ “revolution.” The expropriations “will spur national production of hydrocarbons and strengthen the policy of full petroleum sovereignty,” Ramirez claimed.

ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips have already abandoned the country due to previous nationalization schemes, filing for international arbitration to resolve the disputes. Foreign investment has all but disappeared amidst uncertainty about the regime’s next move. And the value of Venezuela’s currency continues to plummet as the government attempts to pay bills in devalued money and soaring inflation decimates the savings of Venezuelans.

The U.S. government said Venezuela should accept its obligations in the current rig dispute. “We would just call on them to — if they did make such a move — to compensate the owners of those wells," a State Department spokesperson told reporters last week.

But Venezuela balked at the request. "PDVSA categorically rejects the statements made by spokespeople of the U.S. empire," it said in a statement, claiming the U.S. regime was “trying once again to complicate relations with our partners."

Chavez and his government frequently lash out at the “Yankee empire,” which he blames for the failures of his policies. Ironically, the U.S. is the largest importer of Venezuelan oil.

In addition to jailing critics and seizing foreign-owned assets, Chavez also recently threatened the country’s largest food producer, Polar, with nationalization. The government has already taken over virtually the entire energy industry, telecommunications, media, steel, banking and other sectors, leading to wide-spread power outages, food shortages and economic catastrophe.

Chavez has been in power for more than a decade. And as reported previously by The New American magazine, the Venezuelan regime’s “petro-dollars” are playing an important role in financing the resurgence of communism and socialism in Latin America.

Analysts said the nationalization of oil rigs prior to the September Congressional election could be political posturing. But it is not going to help the Venezuelan people or the nation’s crumbling economy, which performed worse than any other Latin American nation's this year.

While it may make for good politics — stealing foreigners’ assets “for the people” plays well among some destitute populations, even if the government is primarily responsible for bankrupting the nation — the long-term effect on the Venezuelan economy will outweigh any “benefits.” Foreign firms will continue refusing to do business in Venezuela, drying up capital, expertise, equipment and jobs that could otherwise have helped the nation lift itself from poverty.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chavez; communism; energy; oil; venezuela
And the evil regime currently on a mission to destroy America does nothing.

Americans and their economy are sitting ducks for this monster and his sycophantic Congress to torpedo.

1 posted on 06/29/2010 12:43:27 PM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

Quiz: Which will last longer? Bananas on the counter or Chavez? Tick-tick-tick-tick.


2 posted on 06/29/2010 12:46:07 PM PDT by JPG (Mr. Gore, or is it Mr. Stone or Mr. Woody? Whatever, you're under arrest.)
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To: IbJensen

Shhhh, don’t distract the golfer.


3 posted on 06/29/2010 12:46:50 PM PDT by bgill (how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the POTUS)
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To: JPG

Are you kidding? Obama’s taking notes!


4 posted on 06/29/2010 12:47:09 PM PDT by SlowBoat407 (Anyone can fib. It takes an intellectual to tell a really big lie.)
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To: IbJensen
Teddy roosevelt, ur-Progressive though he was, would have handled this in jig time


5 posted on 06/29/2010 12:50:28 PM PDT by Paine in the Neck (Napolean fries the idea powder.)
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To: IbJensen

Hopefully the company had the sense to deactivate and lock out all systems on the rigs... If it were up to me that POS Chaves would be taking over a bunch of completely worthless and useless platforms.


6 posted on 06/29/2010 12:51:19 PM PDT by AvOrdVet ("Put the wagons in a circle for all the good it'll do")
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To: bgill

In his fancy shorts the Communist-In-Chief looks like a spider.


7 posted on 06/29/2010 12:51:31 PM PDT by IbJensen ((Ps 109.8): "Let his days be few; and let another take his position.")
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To: IbJensen

Too bad the Venezuelans don’t have a suicide bomber culture . . .


8 posted on 06/29/2010 12:51:31 PM PDT by LRoggy (Peter's Son's Business)
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To: IbJensen

Meanwhile, Obunghole sits there with his thumb up his a$$.


9 posted on 06/29/2010 12:53:22 PM PDT by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: IbJensen

So how’s that “hope and change” working out for everyone?


10 posted on 06/29/2010 12:53:22 PM PDT by Tzimisce (No thanks. We have enough government already. - The Tick)
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To: IbJensen

Really? No, Chavez is just being himself. I blame Hans Helmerich for getting us into this mess. How could he not see this coming. I’m sure he has great insurance.


11 posted on 06/29/2010 12:53:32 PM PDT by grapeape (Don't rally around BP. They are endagering the rest of the oil industry.)
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To: AvOrdVet

Better to have a remote “destruct” switch. Do a Wyatt’s Torch on those bums.


12 posted on 06/29/2010 12:53:46 PM PDT by chimera
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To: Paine in the Neck
...jig time

Nice picture of the fleet at Gibraltar, but watch that stereotypical terminology.

13 posted on 06/29/2010 12:54:41 PM PDT by IbJensen ((Ps 109.8): "Let his days be few; and let another take his position.")
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To: IbJensen
Looks like Venezuela will be another Cuba where the economy will become frozen in time like a bee in amber. So whatever stands now (cars, buildings, infrastructure), will be forever stagnant and begin to degrade in place. Pictures from Cuba always look like shots out of the ‘50’s. Funny how progressives always stop all progress.
14 posted on 06/29/2010 12:54:52 PM PDT by throwback ( The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid)
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To: IbJensen

This is far less important than say a college professor with a chip out of his shoulder and cop getting into an argument, causing the president himself to get involved with his now famous “Beer summit.”

Global warming and a carbon tax is a national security matter to this administration, not missiles defense, the Zumwald ship, FCS, F22, or even Iraq and Afghanistan........ As with “man made disasters,” you have an administration more or less redefining terrorism and downplaying an overt act of war in Korea where 46 S. Korean sailors died at the hands of a N. Korean torpedo.

You’ve got to have your priorities straight, and for this administration, American property being stolen by a despot, a rouge state that is hell bent on our destruction does not rise to the level of his concern.


15 posted on 06/29/2010 12:55:08 PM PDT by Red6 (Where's my stuff? I want some more stuff too Mr. President!)
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To: Tzimisce

We’ve had a large helping of the latter, but little of the former.


16 posted on 06/29/2010 12:56:04 PM PDT by IbJensen ((Ps 109.8): "Let his days be few; and let another take his position.")
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To: IbJensen

The company should have blown the oil rigs on the way out.


17 posted on 06/29/2010 12:56:09 PM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: IbJensen
Obamah will say Venezuela doesn't have any shiny new drilling rigs like H&P has and that is not fair.

Venezuela should have new drilling rigs too.

Over the lsst 10 years, H&P has been replacing their old fleet of land drilling rigs with new state-of-the art ones called "Flex-Rigs" built here in Houston.

18 posted on 06/29/2010 12:57:06 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: IbJensen
Foreign investment has all but disappeared amidst uncertainty about the regime’s next move. And the value of Venezuela’s the Unite State's currency continues to plummet as the government attempts to pay bills in devalued money and soaring inflation decimates the savings of Venezuelans. American's

Where we are headed too...

19 posted on 06/29/2010 12:57:45 PM PDT by IamConservative (Liberty is all a good man needs to succeed.)
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To: IbJensen

Thank goodness nothing like that could ever happen here is the good ol’USofA! /s


20 posted on 06/29/2010 12:59:41 PM PDT by avacado
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To: IbJensen

My history is muddled, but isn’t that an ACT of WAR?


21 posted on 06/29/2010 1:05:13 PM PDT by macquire
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To: throwback

Sluggo learned this cr@ppy trick from Castro.


22 posted on 06/29/2010 1:08:30 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: IbJensen

Chavez is currently restructuring CITGO to hide its assets from international justice for the people Pig Boy Chavez has swindled.


23 posted on 06/29/2010 1:08:33 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember ("Subtlety is not going to win this fight": NJ Governor Chris Christie)
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To: macquire

don’t these oil rigs have GPS or Sat Links? I’m sure a crafty, well versed haxor could get in.


24 posted on 06/29/2010 1:09:12 PM PDT by Ancient Drive (DRINK COFFEE! - Do Stupid Things Faster with More Energy!)
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To: IbJensen
The U.S. government said Venezuela should accept its obligations in the current rig dispute. “We would just call on them to — if they did make such a move — to compensate the owners of those wells," a State Department spokesperson told reporters last week.

Chavez's resonse:"Que pasa con las acciones de GM y Chrysler"

25 posted on 06/29/2010 1:12:08 PM PDT by C19fan
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To: macquire

/src on/That is so 19th century thinking, hee hee/src off/


26 posted on 06/29/2010 1:15:29 PM PDT by C19fan
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To: macquire

I was wondering what the difference between

“nationalizing” and “outright theft” was...

Of course, the same could be said of “redistribution of wealth”.


27 posted on 06/29/2010 1:15:51 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: IbJensen

Isn’t this an act of war? Of course, that would only matter if we actually had an administration that was looking to provide for our defense.


28 posted on 06/29/2010 1:15:55 PM PDT by SueRae (I can see November from my HOUSE!)
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Of course I messed up the Spanish word for bond, should be bonos.


29 posted on 06/29/2010 1:16:47 PM PDT by C19fan
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To: IbJensen
I'll never understand why H&P took such a risk, they knew this might happen.

Well, I do understand. In 2008, the US land rig count was 50% of what is was the year before, around 2000 active US land rigs. ...in 2008, the number fell to 800+.

The US Rig active rig count is now back up to 1500+

30 posted on 06/29/2010 1:28:06 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: throwback

Should rename them “regressives”.


31 posted on 06/29/2010 1:28:28 PM PDT by RightWingConspirator (Impeach Zerobama and his band of Commie Czars)
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To: IbJensen

Why don’t we just Nationalize some of his retail outlets here in the US then?


32 posted on 06/29/2010 1:31:35 PM PDT by BradtotheBone (Moderate Democrat - A politician whose voting record leans left and whose vote can be bought.)
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To: Paine in the Neck

The Great White Fleet.


33 posted on 06/29/2010 1:40:20 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: BradtotheBone

VZ’s national oil company owns a nice refinery in the Chicago area, probably worth $5 billion...


34 posted on 06/29/2010 1:41:41 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: IbJensen
Here's the answer...


35 posted on 06/29/2010 1:55:06 PM PDT by skimbell
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