February 8, 2008

Thank God For Greedy Corporations

Don't mess with Exxon;

Exxon Mobil Corp has moved to freeze up to $12 billion in Venezuelan assets around the world as the U.S. company fights for payment in return for the state's takeover of a huge oil project last year.

The company said 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.

h/t John Murney.

Posted by Kate at February 8, 2008 8:48 AM

Wait until the Left hears about this. A greedy, oil-belching, environment destroying, multinational with gawdy profits aiming to thwart a firm of the Venezuelan people! How dare they?

Good on Exxon I say.

Posted by: phil at February 8, 2008 10:03 AM

Speaking of corporations clashing with non democratic governments, China has been fighting the BHP takeover of Rio Tinto. They don't like it because it will give BHP a near monopoly on iron ore production.
The Chinese communist government is complaining about the dangers of a monopoly.
Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

Posted by: Stan at February 8, 2008 10:07 AM

This thing with PDVSA will be very interesting - could affect some of their ongoing financing deals.

On Rio, can't really blame China on that one (well, I can't blame them for being concerned - probably won't like their tactics) - would think that other governments would be concerned. Monopolies aren't good for consumers or for capitalism.

Posted by: holdfast at February 8, 2008 10:20 AM

I say, don't mess with people. That's where wealth comes from.
Then we can say, don't mess with free enterprise.
And then, don't mess with Exxon.
Good move on their side, socialists cannot be reasoned with.

Posted by: Aaron at February 8, 2008 10:26 AM

Chavez The Visionary will soon be visiting Canada as the distinguished guest of the Assembly of First Nations. Look forward to great lectures by The Visionary on establishing Human Rights in Canada.

Posted by: Drained Brain at February 8, 2008 10:50 AM

and it is being reported some Aboriginal group, no doubt using Federal $$'s, wants to bring their hero Chavez to Canada to shame the Government for not signing some UN Aboriginal Rights screed.

Posted by: Fred at February 8, 2008 11:00 AM

Some days it's hard to find the real bad guy...specially where global corportism is concerned...I think the greatest "sin" Chavez has engaged in as far as these mutts are concerned is refusing them to control his nation's central bank. this seizure action we see nations with IMF/WB aligned central banks lining up to plunder his foreign organized thieves stealing from a freelance independent least Chavez keeps his robbery within his own borders.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at February 8, 2008 11:28 AM

Exxon is in the right here - they invested big $$ in Venezuela and one day Chavez kicks them out and tells them he'll get around to letting them know how many pennies on the dollar they will receive for their investement. Not only is that unfair to the shareholders of Exxon, but allowing/encouraging this sort of behavious raises the risks (ie the cost) of investing in projects in developing nations. A lot of less developed countries need investment from big companies in order to grow their infrastructure. If the companies are always looking over their shoulders for the next Chvez, they'll either not invest, invest less or waste money buying expensive political risk insurance.

Posted by: holdfast at February 8, 2008 12:19 PM

They should bring Chavez to my house Fred, I'd give him a real, authentic Southern Ontario welcome. Got a perfect snow bank here and everything.

Posted by: The Phantom at February 8, 2008 1:13 PM

lucky they are not in Canada were there is no right to property and expropriation is legal

Posted by: Bruce at February 8, 2008 1:55 PM

As for Exxon's efforts: SWEEEEEEEEET

As for bringing Chavez to Canada: Don't allow him entry to Canada. Simple.

Posted by: arctic_front at February 8, 2008 2:34 PM

Maybe they can throw some of that dough at all the people who the royally f*cked up in Alaska when their drunken captain slammed the oil tanker onto the rocks?

That's be nice, seeing as so far they've been fighting the court order to pay up, and basically outliving all those they screwed.

Or do you guys support that sort of thing too?

Posted by: John at February 8, 2008 2:40 PM

John - that last post was so incoherent. Care to try again?

Posted by: Danny Lemieux at February 8, 2008 2:49 PM

Exon's profit margin is 11.5 percent.
Microsoft's profit margin is 29.3 percent.
and yet the oil companies are the ones who are gready?

Posted by: Kevin at February 8, 2008 2:56 PM

"Or do you guys support that sort of thing too?"

So whats your point???

Horny Toad

Posted by: Horny Toad at February 8, 2008 3:57 PM

Probably a little over your heads but...

Do you have any idea what would happen if venzuela stopped exporting oil to the u.s.

Or even worse started pricing oil in euros.

Posted by: morningstar at February 8, 2008 5:09 PM

"Do you have any idea what would happen if venzuela stopped exporting oil to the u.s."

The US would find some reason to invade and these guys would all agree with said reason?

Posted by: John at February 8, 2008 5:13 PM

Holy crap does Exxon have some pull or what.

Now that is power at it's finest.

Posted by: Right of centre at February 8, 2008 5:15 PM

Okay, morningstar, I'll bite, what would happen?

Posted by: Dave at February 8, 2008 5:31 PM

Seems they, [ on the other side], are confused about how things will play out too.

= TG

Posted by: TG at February 8, 2008 6:06 PM

Good for Exxon. Thats a good slap on the back of the head for the fat little dick-tatar. He is playing with the big boys now. I hope it doen't hurt his feeling Chavez that is.

Posted by: Ken E at February 8, 2008 7:27 PM

morning star.I'm with Dave. What will happen?? I await your answer with baited breath.

Posted by: Justthinkin at February 8, 2008 8:27 PM

"Maybe they can throw some of that dough at all the people who the royally f*cked up in Alaska when their drunken captain slammed the oil tanker onto the rocks?

That's be nice, seeing as so far they've been fighting the court order to pay up, and basically outliving all those they screwed.

Or do you guys support that sort of thing too?"

EXxon Valdez has NOTHING to do with what is happening in Venezuela.
When an individual makes an investment, no government has the right to confiscate that property without providing compensation. Exxon is not the villain. Chavez is getting what he deserves.

Posted by: John Murney at February 8, 2008 8:39 PM

I asked about frozen assets outside of Venezuela on OilWars . . and the answer is. .
* *

Doesn't really look like much of any assets have been frozen in that Venezuela can't use them - it just can't sell them pending them making a final settlement with Exxon. That will happen and they'll be unfrozen. So there isn't much impact on anything.

The medical staffs aren't that expensive. Doctors working in the public sector in Venezuela don't earn all that much. You definitely can't think in terms of what US doctors get paid. **

[1] Didn*t know that. Is that correct?

[2] Health staffs are quick to become very expensive in any oil-rich country. Answer No.2 is not really correct at all. = TG

Posted by: TG at February 8, 2008 9:50 PM

John Murney, I would like to highlight / emphasize what you said.

Exxon was orderd by the court to pay a penalty fitting the negligence and damage to families, animals and undersea environment due to a single hull oil tanker.

ExxonMobile beat that penalty down to half size.

Now Exxon is fighting to escape payment of any penalty whatsoever.

Keep in mind that court costs are a tax deductable business cost. Ergo, Us taxpayers are covering ExxonMobiie court sosts.

Corporate public relations suggests that ExxonMobile should at least pay the half size penalty the court imposed. = TG

Posted by: TG at February 8, 2008 10:19 PM

If PDVSA stopped shipping oil to the USA, they'd be forced to sell it to someone else, anywhere else, that had capacity to refine high sulfur crude within a few weeks. (Not in 3 years or so however long it takes to build a new refinery) Because to store this amount of crude is impossible, and PDVSA is so screwed for cash by Hugo and his social experiments, they require payment within a week, not 30 days as is usual in the oil industry.
It's explained well here... by a petroleum geologist that was at one time on the board of directors at PDVSA... when it was a meritocracy and not a dumping ground for Chavez's minions.
Oh yeah, they also don't have any extra time to wait for food that they buy with the oil money. and where do they buy this food from? the evil imperialists to the north of course. So while the USA may be addicted to oil, Venezuela is absolutely required to import something like 60 to 70% of its food imports.

and because oil is fungible, if Venezuela stops exports to the USA, ships its crude elsewhere... someone else will lose a sale elsewhere, and will be "forced" to sell to someone else, and so on down the line, until you have another country that would do anything to sell to the US market, where we find a people that actually pay the bills for oil within "30 days" or thereabouts.

Quico at Caracas Chronicles has a fair bit to say on this topic from the Venezuela and an economists point of view.

Posted by: marc in calgary at February 9, 2008 12:55 PM

Marc in Calgary,

Thanks . . is a gem!

Small Dead Animals is where you find some of the best links.

I*m an electric car hopeful, so that comic strip really hit home.

Fungible?? Yes, yes, but we all want electric cars anyway.

Don*t worry Marc, Alberta*s oil and all oil will always be in demand for plastics and paints.

Burning oil is becoming old fashioned more quickly than most realize.

Safeway tractor fleet switched to Eco-diesel. Fleet fuel consumtion lowered by 50%. Billion$ saved.

Walmart fleet, ditto, saving Billion$.

New GM Eco-buses in 56 cities. Fuels cut 50%

Brazil 85% on ethanols.

Electric delivery fleets in UK, EU, especially France and even compressed-air cars in India and French taxis. And that*s only a fraction of it.

= TG

Posted by: TG at February 9, 2008 2:13 PM

TG..ExxonMobil has paid millions upon millions to all concerned and affected in Alaska. What you are probably refering to and are not even aware of it is punitive damges. EVERY court Exxon has been to, EVEN the Ultra-Liberal 9th circuit has agreed that these charge were excessive and unwarranted. It was just an attempt to extort more money from a ready source.
Now, back on topic. I am glad ExxonMobil has done what it needed to do with Chavez, think about it, if he is not trustworthy with any of his business deakings how is he trustworthy with anything else? The answer is: he is not, so appropriate action was taken to protect ExxonMobil assets.

Posted by: Phillip at February 9, 2008 3:19 PM


Right you are. I remember they did pay restitution in several places.

So just punitive damages eh? Well, I still think they should pay some part of punitives .. Public relations, you know, and they could afford to *double hull* on huge bulk tankers two football fields long.

Agreed with what Exxon has done with Chavez. Wonder if PhillipsConoco will do or has done something similar? = TG

Posted by: TG at February 9, 2008 10:44 PM

Shoulda put this here. . . not in tips.

Due to my take on ExxonMobile, some cry *Leftist* or *Eco-***. Makes me no less a conservative.

No one questions Maggie Thatcher*s consrvatism, yet she was no *lockstep Lemming* either.

National Post February 7/2008

Extreme competition, but not extreme enough by Lawrence Solomon

Since Maggie Thatcher broke up the United Kingdom's dysfunctional energy monopolies two decades ago, costs plummeted, as did prices for consumers, as a wave of new entrants into the energy business led to a textbook example of the benefits of competition.

Today, the typical household has several thousand options in purchasing power that come to it courtesy of six dozen different licensed merchants. Compare that to the choices your local power monopolist provides you.

The UK also has a helluva lot more electric vehicles and PEV truck fleets options than we do too. = TG

Posted by: TG at February 9, 2008 10:49 PM

We here in the US need to look at ways to cut our dependence on foreign crude. Every thing we do to cut our consumption cuts the dollars going to Terrorist and terror supporting nations.
While we might rebell at Albore and his glowbull warming sceme, There is value in cutting our foreign oil consumption.
Every dollars I don't send to Islamofascist countries, is one more dollar I can spend on Ammo for the Martyr maker collection.

Posted by: Jeremy at February 10, 2008 11:46 AM

Liberals wont be happy till all american jobs are sent over seas

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at February 10, 2008 10:00 PM