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CARACAS, Friday February 08, 2008 | Update
 
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Congress rejects foreign courts’ action against Pdvsa
  NUEVOMEDIA
Friday February 08, 2008  02:33 PM

Deputy Ángel Rodríguez, chair of the Energy and Mines Committee, Venezuelan National Assembly, rebutted as illegal the rulings by US and British courts to freeze the assets of Venezuelan oil giant Pdvsa in the US, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles, as part of a complaint filed by US oil major Exxon Mobil after its assets in heavy-crude oil Orinoco belt were seized by the Venezuelan government last May.

The nationalization process, under which foreign firms were forced to enter into joint ventures where the Venezuelan State holds a majority stake, "comes as part of an exercise of full oil sovereignty in Venezuelan territory. Any dispute or lawsuit should be addressed under the jurisdiction of domestic courts only. Therefore, the National Assembly forcefully rejects the pretensions of the oil multinational to bias the international arbitration -which is a colonialist practice that prevailed in the oil opening agreements initialed in the 90's and which runs counter to the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela."

In Rodríguez's view, the court orders are intended to have an influence on Venezuela's allocations of oil areas, as the Bolivarian government has set principles to diversify partners in hydrocarbons operations and privilege policies favoring Latin American and Caribbean union.

He ratified that Venezuela is free to award future areas in the Orinoco oil belt, which holds the world's largest liquid hydrocarbons reserve.

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