Exxon, Conoco Pull Out of Venezuela

Firms reject Chavez demand for 60% stake in future projects
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2007 8:04 AM CDT
A pedestrian walks in front of a street banner depicting Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and 'Guaky", the Copa America's pet, in Maracaibo, Venezuela, Monday, June 25, 2007. Venezuela is hosting the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips are bolting from lucrative operations in Venezuela in the wake of Hugo Chavez's demand that his state-run oil company receive at least a 60% share in projects. Talks over compensation fell apart hours before today's deadline to determine the future of four projects that produce as much as a quarter of the country's daily output.

Chavez and Venezuela's state-run firm took operational control of plants in the region, including those built by Conoco and Exxon, on May 1 as part of the president's nationalization plan to create what he calls "21st century socialism.'' The projects in question represent about 4% of Conoco's 2006 production, Reuters reports, and 1% of Exxon's.