Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Putting Oil Company Profits in Perspective

Along with the financial and work hazard risks of providing the oil the 'lubricates' our economy, Companies like Exxon have to contend with with the political risk that a leftist dicator will just up and nationalize oil projects:
Venezuela pulls control from big oil companies

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) -- Venezuela will strip the world's biggest oil companies of operational control over massive Orinoco Belt crude projects, a vital move in President Hugo Chavez's nationalization drive.

The May Day takeover Tuesday comes exactly a year after Bolivian President Evo Morales, a leftist ally of Chavez, startled investors by ordering troops to seize his country's gas fields, accelerating Latin America's struggle to reclaim resources.

"The importance of this is that we are taking back control of the Orinoco Belt which the president rightly calls the world's biggest crude reserve," said Marco Ojeda, an oil union leader before a planned rally led to mark the transfer.

The four projects are valued at more than $30 billion and can convert about 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) of heavy, tarry crude into valuable synthetic oil.

U.S. companies ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Britain's BP, Norway's Statoil and France's Total have agreed to obey a decree to transfer operational control, although the OPEC nation has complained ConocoPhillips has resisted...


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