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Friday, February 8, 2008

Keep Your Ear to the Ground on Venezuela

Things are heating up in the "oil news"-keep in mind, oil IS what rules the world, without it, no nation can exist, control of supplies is essential, especially for those who have no oil themselves to speak of (ie the US) yet whose own companies are those reaping the high profits off of OTHER nation's natural resources.

FIRST: Mobil Exon wins court cases freezing 12 billion dollars in assets of Venezuela's oil company, Pdvsa, suit brought by Exxon Mobil against Pdvsa for nationalization of oil resources.
THIS article which I posted HERE, claims:

"
Exxon Mobil Corp. secure courts orders from United States courts, and United Kingdom courts and courts in the Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles against Venezuela oil company PDVSA's assets and its subsidiaries, freezing more than $12 billion in worldwide assets, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, international news agencies reported on Thursday."

YET, THIS article also published today states:

Venezuela's U.S. assets too hard to freeze: Exxon


And THIS article states:

"According to documents filed last month in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Exxon Mobil has secured an "order of attachment" on about US$300 million (euro207 million) in cash held by PDVSA. A hearing to confirm the order is scheduled in New York for February 13."

That is NOT a twelve billion dollar judgement rendered in the United States!



Exxon Mobil claims triumph over Venezuela, Caracas denies Houston/Caracas - Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest oil company, claimed a victory Friday in its dispute with Venezuela over the nationalization of its oil fields in the South American country. The Houston-based company said that courts in Europe and elsewhere froze 12 billion dollars in funds from the Venezuelan state energy company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). But Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez denied that the asset-freeze rulings were definitive and stressed that the Venezuelan government will not turn back on its decision to nationalize oil fields and refineries. It is "completely false" that any assets have been frozen, Ramirez said, calling a complaint filed by the US company a "bluff, an act of propaganda.""We have received no decision from any tribunal that is definitive regarding our assets. We have a cautionary measure at a New York court, and we have the right to respond to it, which we will do," the minister said in a press conference. In June, the government of left-wing populist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez forced multinational companies to transfer to PDVSA a large part of their oil business in the South American country. The foreign companies now have minority stakes in joint ventures with PDVSA.

READ FURTHER>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And now the US State Department is chiming in on the action:

US says it did not push Exxon Mobil into legal battle with Venezuela

The US government did not compel oil firm Exxon Mobil Corp to engage in a legal fight with Venezuela seeking compensation for the takeover of its assets under Venezuela's nationalization drive, Friday said a spokesman of the US State Department.

Spokesman Tom Casey said he had no information on whether Exxon had advised any US official before resorting to international arbitration.

"This is a very large administration," Casey said, adding, "Did the US administration pushed Exxon into doing this? The answer is no. They are protecting their corporate interests, in accordance with their needs," Reuters quoted.

"The US administration's vision is that neither Exxon nor any other US firm, and no other corporation in the world, should see their assets expropriated without a fair appropriate compensation, according to the international standards," said Casey.


YET, the other US oil companies involved in production in Venezuela are in NEGOTIATIONS to compensate them for their losses due to nationalization. From France:

Total to get $834 mln Venezuela oil compensation


PARIS, Feb 8 (Reuters) - French oil and gas giant Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday it would receive $834 million in crude oil shipments to compensate for its stake in Venezuela's Sincor.

"Total will receive $834 million in oil shipments for the transfer of the 16.67 percent interest to state-owned PDVSA," a Total spokeswoman told Reuters. (source)



What is Exon Mobil's financial stake in Pdvsa? According to THIS article:

" Exxon Mobil's 41.7 percent stake in a heavy oil project in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt region had a net-book value of about $750 million, according to a September filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil is the world's largest oil company and last year was the most-profitable U.S. corporation in history.
Now, from Dubai, there is the report below:

QUESTION: How did Exxon Mobil win a TWELVE BILLION DOLLAR suit in London and the Netherlands then?

Now from Dubai, there are rumblings..............

OPEC may switch to euro, will "take time" -sec-gen

  • Reuters
  • Friday February 8 2008
DUBAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Producer group OPEC may abandon the dollar for pricing oil and adopt the euro but any such switch will "take time", OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri was quoted as saying by a weekly magazine.
"Maybe we can price the oil in the euro," the London-based Middle East Economic Digest quoted Badri as saying in an interview. "It can be done, but it will take time."
Reuters obtained an advance copy of the interview which will be published in the London-based magazine's next issue.
"Badri tells MEED ... that the producers' cartel may switch to the euro within a decade to combat the dollar's decline," the magazine said without providing a direct quote about the time frame.
"It took two world wars and more than 50 years for the dollar to become the dominant currency. Now we are seeing another strong currency coming into the [frame], which is the euro," he said.
Iran, at odds with the West over its nuclear programme, and its anti-U.S. ally Venezuela have pressed for OPEC to abandon the dollar and perhaps price oil in a basket of currencies.
But they have had little success despite the dollar's sharp fall against a basket of world currencies in recent months amid growing concerns about the health of the U.S. economy and the prospect of interest rate cuts in the United States.
While oil is priced in dollars, any weakness in the currency erodes the spending power of oil producers. (Writing by Firouz Sedarat, editing by Anthony Barker)

Source

Next, there is the Annual Threat Assessment of the United States Intelligence Community
(pages 8-9 covers Latin America) and this article:

Venezuelan Government Official Calls U.S. Threat Assessment “False and Dishonest

partly:

The report also expressed concern about the “rapport” that Ch├ívez has built up with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nicaraguan President Carlos Ortega, both of whom have been rivals of the United States since the 1980s. Venezuela and Nicaragua recently proposed a joint military force for Latin America, and inaugurated a corn processing plant intended to combat food shortages, facilitated by a technology transfer from Iran.

Venezuela’s National Assembly defended its policies, stating, “we believe in a multipolar world, where among equals we can construct a distinct humanity.”


It's the OIL, it's the OIL, it's the OIL, and since oil is tied to the dollar, and the dollar has fallen drastically recently, keep your EARS to the ground on this news!

UPDATE:

Kent Ward: Oil profits boggle the mind

By BDN Staff


If they gave an award for the most obscene headline in your morning newspaper — one that was not the result of a typographical error — the six-column banner that dominated last weekend’s business page would surely be in the running for the trophy.

"Exxon Mobil posts record profit of $40.6B," the headline screamed, and every sad sack who, against his better judgment, has ever pumped $3.30-per-gallon gasoline into his vehicle’s tank had the answer to his question of just what this extended legal extortion at the gas pump is doing for Big Oil’s bottom line.

"Exxon Mobil Corp. posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company — $40.6 billion — on Friday as the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at the end of the year," the wire story out of Houston reported.

"Exxon also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007, beating its own mark of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005," the article continued. Gee. What a surprise.

I looked up the word "billions" in my dictionary to see if the definition included an illustration of a major oil company’s stash of cash. It didn’t. But in fairness to the dictionary people, my dawg-eared edition was compiled long before a tankful of gasoline cost a king’s ransom and oil tycoons began laughing all the way to the bank while computing their quarterly profits.

It apparently is so beyond the imagination of your average bear to picture just how much a billion of anything is that my dictionary doesn’t even attempt the feat. It simply defines the word "billion" as "a very large number." Those who persist in knowing the gory details are referred to a numbers table located under the "N" listings.

READ FURTHER>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



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