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Big Oil's Victory in Venezuela

ExxonMobil has won a court battle to freeze $12 billion in assets of Petroleos de Venezuela as compensation for nationalization of projects

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has repeatedly seized assets of international oil companies operating in the country as part of his socialist revolution. Now, Big Oil is striking back.

ExxonMobil (XOM) said on Feb. 7 that courts in Britain and the U.S. had granted its requests to freeze more than $12 billion in assets of Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). ExxonMobil is seeking compensation for the nationalization of two oil projects in the country that are together worth several billion dollars.