Monday, June 28, 2010

Venezuela to Nationalize Oil Rigs

Venezuela has announced its intention to nationalize 11 oil rigs owned by Tulsa-based drilling and exploration company Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP).

HP has been in negotiations with Venezuela’s national oil company, PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela SA) over the fate of the rigs since the company halted production last year when PDVSA defaulted on its payments, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

PDVSA will ask permission from Venezuela’s National Assembly to take over the rigs saying HP has refused to discuss payment. “We won’t allow them to sabotage our operations,” said oil minister and president of PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez, in an e-mailed statement, according to the Bloomberg report.

In a company statement, HP said it was surprised by PDVSA’s announcement. “We have been in ongoing efforts in a good faith attempt to accommodate a win-win resolution, including a willingness to sell rigs.”

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