In an Israeli-style move, Exxon, the most profitable company ever, freezes $12B belonging to Venezuela's people
Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) has won court orders freezing up to $12 billion in Venezuelan assets around the world as it fights for compensation for operations lost to President Hugo Chavez's nationalization drive.
The largest U.S. company sought the asset freeze to guarantee repayment should it win arbitration over the Cerro Negro heavy oil project.
The move is the boldest challenge yet by an international oil major against any of the governments around the world that have moved to increase their holds on natural resources as energy and commodity prices have soared.
"To me it sounds like a very aggressive tactic," said Stephen Zamora, professor of international law at the University of Houston Law Center.
"I can't really say that I'm aware this has been used in other investment disputes. They may be trying to get the government to settle."
Exxon -- which last week posted the largest ever year's profit by a U.S. company -- said on Thursday it has received court orders in Britain, the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles each freezing up to $12 billion in assets of Venezuela state oil firm PDVSA. An Exxon spokeswoman said the total that could be frozen worldwide was $12 billion.
The move underscores Exxon's reputation for toughness in dealing with foes as varied as governments and fishermen, as it has been willing to wage prolonged legal battles to defend its interests around the world.
you need to read this carefully... besides the "nobody fucks with us" game that exxon's playing, the $12B that's being frozen DOESN'T just belong to the state-owned oil company, it belongs to the venezuelan PEOPLE... these are precisely the assets that chávez has pledged to help his people escape from poverty... of course exxon knows this and is engaging in this unprecedented move for precisely the same reasons that israel is blockading gaza - to stir up unrest among the people such that they will be more inclined to overthrow their government...
and why...? because, in exxon's world, the first duty of the president of a sovereign nation is to protect businesses, corporations, the holders of capital, and the owners of private property... the people of the country need to accept their role as secondary and subservient to those interests... in fact, insuring that ALL of a country's resources are devoted to serving those interests is the lesson that exxon is attempting to force mr. chávez to learn... putting a fine point on it, the insatiable desire for power and money knows no bounds... Submit To Propeller