Houston, Texas based oil company Helmerich and Payne owns and operates numerous oil rigs off the coast of Venezuela.
Venezuelan government refuses to pay them for $49 million for past services and said rigs have been out of production for months.
Enter Dear Leader Hugo Chavez.
With the dictators oil revenues falling, and a privately owned U.S. company trying to collect on its debt, there’s only one thing a dedicated communist can do – Nationalize the company.
Venezuela will nationalize a fleet of oil rigs belonging to U.S. company Helmerich and Payne, the latest takeover in a push to socialism as President Hugo Chavez struggles with lower oil output and a recession.
The 11 drilling rigs have been idled for months following a dispute over pending payments by the OPEC member’s state oil company PDVSA. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Wednesday the rigs, the Oklahoma-based company’s entire Venezuelan fleet, were being nationalized to bring them back into production.
Of course Hugo has devised an excuse, a shitty one but an excuse none-the-less, for his actions.
Ramirez said companies that refused to put their rigs into production were part of a plan to weaken Chavez’s government,
“There is a group of drill owners that has refused to discuss tariffs and services with PDVSA and have preferred to keep this equipment stored for a year,” Ramirez told reporters in the oil producing state of Zulia. “That is the specific case with U.S. multinational Helmerich and Payne.”
The irony is Hugo is seizing assests of a private company to gain oil production, while Obama is taking millions of barrels of oil out of production by disregarding a judges order and doing so by executive fiat.