CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela will nationalize a fleet of oil rigs belonging to U.S. company Helmerich and Payne, the latest takeover in a push to socialism as President Hugo Chavez struggles with lower oil output and a recession.No worries here, yet.
A former soldier inspired by Cuba's Fidel Castro, Chavez has made energy nationalization the linchpin in his 'revolution'. He has also taken over assets in telecommunications, power, steel and banking.
The 11 drilling rigs have been idled for months following a dispute over pending payments by the OPEC member's state oil company PDVSA. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Wednesday the rigs, the Oklahoma-based company's entire Venezuelan fleet, were being nationalized to bring them back into production[...]
The takeover of Helmerich and Payne's rigs was not a surprise, considering Chavez penchant for nationalizations and the company's refusal to work before being paid the $49 million it has invoiced PDVSA.
Cross posted at the Jawa Report