Exxon 'seeking to damage' Venezuela | News | Al Jazeera

Exxon 'seeking to damage' Venezuela

Chavez hits back after court order freezes $12bn of the country's energy assets.

    State oil company PDVSA is Hugo Chavez's
    main source of income [AFP]

    Exxon Mobil, which last week reported the largest ever profit of a US company, sought the freeze to guarantee repayment from Venezuela should it win arbitration over the compensation.
     
    The court ruling means that PDVSA, the state oil company, cannot sell certain assets or move some funds while the compensation case is reviewed.
     
    PDVSA is the main source of income for Chavez's government.
     
    Energy battle
     
    Following the court order, the nation's debt values plunged because of investor worries it could limit the activities of the PDVSA and affect its cash flow.
     
    The Venezuelan company, which has more than $90 billion in assets, finances Chavez's spending on food subsidies, schools and clinics for the country's sizeable poor population.
     
    PDVSA has suffered repeated refinery outages, struggled to improve production and shown signs of cash flow problems in the last year.
     
    Venezuela says the court rulings are temporary and will have no impact on PDVSA's supplies, operations or finances.
     
    It plans to file a response this week to have the rulings reversed.
     
    As energy prices increase, Exxon's challenge is the boldest move so far by an oil company against governments such as Russia and Ecuador that have moved to increase their control over natural resources.
     
    Chavez accuses big oil companies and large consumer nations of seeking to coerce major producers such as Venezuela into hiking supply to help lower world prices.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.