Chavez Steals 30 Billion From Private Oil Companies

Chavez completes takeover of private oil fields:

The companies ceding control included BP Plc, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp, France's Total SA and Norway's Statoil ASA. All but ConocoPhillips signed agreements last week agreeing in principle to state control, and ConocoPhillips said Tuesday that it too was cooperating.

While the state takeover was planned well ahead of time, the oil companies remain locked in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the government.

Chavez says the state is taking a minimum 60 per cent stake in the Orinoco operations, but he is urging foreign companies to stay and help develop the fields.

They have until June 26 to negotiate the terms.

The companies have leverage with Chavez because experts agree that Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, cannot transform the Orinoco's tar-like crude into marketable oil without their investment and experience.

So Chavez lays claim to the capital without the expertise or experts to effectively use it. This scenario seems familiar. I hope ConocoPhilips holds their ground if possible or leaves entirely.

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I don't know. Exxon, BP,

I don't know. Exxon, BP, Chevron are about as much products of the market and libertarian property theory as the Soviet Union. Sure the resources will be mismanaged to an even greater degree but I have trouble caring.

Homesteading oil field is a

Homesteading oil field is a very tricky problem. With a Lockean theory of property, I don't see why anyone couldn't put his straw in and start slurping as well, only the oil actually extracted should be owned by the oil company... On other grounds it seems intuitively that defining ad-hoc oil-field-property-rights is fair and efficient

market products

While I realize that 1 this is not exactly the case of a little guy getting kicked while he is down, and 2 there has historically and presently been quite a bit of intermingling between the u.s. government and oil companies I have trouble seeing how giant american and british oil companies drilling in a not-especially politically stable region could be anything but the product of a very high market demand for oil. Do you think that without the markets of the developed world these companies would not only exist but be as big as they are?

Sure their size and other various characteristics may be a product of government interference into the market however I would argue that the size of at least the American companies would be substantially larger without government interference into the market.

via wikipedia:

Successor companies to the Standard Oil Trust (post-1911) include:

* Standard Oil of New Jersey (SONJ) - or Esso (S.O. or Eastern States, Standard Oil) - renamed Exxon, now part of ExxonMobil. Standard Trust companies Carter Oil, Imperial Oil (Canada), and Standard of Louisiana were kept as part of Standard Oil of New Jersey after the breakup.
* Standard Oil of New York - or Socony, merged with Vacuum - renamed Mobil, now part of ExxonMobil.
* Standard Oil of California - or Socal - renamed Chevron, became ChevronTexaco, but returned to Chevron.
* Standard Oil of Indiana - or Stanolind, renamed Amoco (American Oil Co.) - now part of BP.
* Standard's Atlantic and the independent company Richfield merged to form Atlantic Richfield or Arco, now part of BP. Atlantic operations were spun off and bought by Sunoco.
* Standard Oil of Kentucky - or Kyso was acquired by Standard Oil of California - currently Chevron.
* Continental Oil Company - or Conoco now part of ConocoPhillips.
* Standard Oil of Ohio - or Sohio now part of BP.
* The Ohio Oil Company - more commonly referred to as "The Ohio", and marketed gasoline under the Marathon name. The company is now known as Marathon Oil Company, and was often a rival with the in-state Standard spinoff, Sohio.

These companies are a product of the antitrust litigation that broke up Standard oil. So I am curious if you are saying that standard oil was not a product of the market, or if the spin off companies were not a product of the market because I would disagree with both. Certainly there might be 1 company instead of many if the u.s. government had not interfered but none of these companies would exist at all without a strong market for oil. To put it more simply the government effected the form but the existence of these companies is very much a product of "the market."

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