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34

Exxon Hands Lucrative Oil Project to Venezuela's Government

Exxon Mobil has always been expected to take the toughest line with Venezuela

Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to hand operations of a multibillion-dollar Cerro Negro oil project to the Venezuelan state before a May 1 deadline imposed by President Hugo Chavez, Reuters reported.

Energy authorities in 2006 extended an initial deadline to take control of oilfields operated by private and foreign oil companies, which operated the fields for three months as negotiations continued.

Exxon Mobil has always been expected to take the toughest line with Venezuela, according to industry analysts, who have cast doubts over whether PDVSA has the technical capacity to run the complex operations valued at an estimated $30 billion.