The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. He gets the award for the following.
CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez ordered by decree on Monday the takeover of oil projects run by foreign oil companies in Venezuela's Orinoco River region.I've never given Chavez the Knucklehead before. Some of you could say I am overdue.
Chavez had previously announced the government's intention to take a majority stake by May 1 in four heavy oil-upgrading projects run by British Petroleum PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., Total SA and Statoil ASA.
He said Monday that has decreed a law to proceed with the nationalizations that will see state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, taking at least a 60 percent stake in the projects.
"The privatization of oil in Venezuela has come to an end," he said on his weekday radio show, "Hello, President." "This marks the true nationalization of oil in Venezuela."
By May 1, "we will occupy these fields" and have the national flag flying on them, he said.
The law is expected to be published shortly in the government's official gazette, and the companies will have four months from then to negotiate terms and conditions with PDVSA to decide whether they will take part in new joint ventures as minority partners, Chavez said.
Chavez did not detail how the government will pay for its increased share in the projects in which the companies are estimated to have invested some $17 billion.
The government has compensated companies reasonably in recent weeks for nationalizations it has carried out in other sectors, but those agreements were for assets valued far less than the oil projects.
These oil projects are not Venezuela's property. Seizing them is nothing more than thievery written large. Is Venezuela going to compensate companies in full? If they do, where will the money come from?
This quote I think sums up what is really going on here
But he added that Venezuela doesn't "want the companies to go ... We just want them to be (minority) partners."Chavez wants the companies to still run the projects but for him to get all the money. Venezuela President Hugo Chavez is today's Knucklehead of the Day.
Hat tip- Captain's Quarters
Linked to- Amboy Times, Basil, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Dragonlady's World, Jo, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pursuing Holiness, Right Voices, Third World County,