Publication Detail

Energy Security: Meeting the Growing Challenge of National Oil Companies



Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Suggested Citation:
Jaffe, Amy Myers and Matthew E. Chen (2007) Energy Security: Meeting the Growing Challenge of National Oil Companies. Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations (Summer/Fall 2007), 9 - 21

Last February, Hugo Chavez decreed a staged nationalization in a drive to take over large segments of the Venezuelan economy as part of his revolutionary vision for the country. Specifically, the Chavez government set its sights on the oil industry, giving notice to foreign oil companies—including US firms—that they had until June 26 to reduce their ownership in Venezuelan Orinoco Belt heavy oil field projects so that the state could take at least a 60 percent share. This year alone, the Venezuelan government has already formed the Venezuelan Electricity Corporation, comprised of all state electricity utilities, to ensure state control of the electricity sector. It has also initiated the takeover of CANTV, the country’s biggest telecommunications operator. Chavez also has threatened to nationalize Venezuela’s banking sector unless banks “give priority to financing [the country’s] industrial sectors.”Commenting on his drive for “21st century socialism,” the president said that “I’m not deceiving anyone. I’m only governing the country, and the country has elected me various times. ...All of those who voted for me backed socialism, and that is where we are heading.”