Venezuela Bites Back at ExxonMobil

The state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela accuses the U.S. oil giant of holding the country hostage with its order to freeze company assets
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (R) gestures as he delivers a press conference after the inauguration of Guatemala's new President Alvaro Colom in Guatemala City, Jan. 14, 2008. YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images

The head of Venezuela's state oil company accused ExxonMobil (XOM) of trying to "take the country hostage" and said on Feb. 8 that Venezuela would seek to overturn court orders freezing more than $12 billion of the company's assets. The statement was the latest twist in a dispute with ExxonMobil over the oil giant's demand to be compensated for the nationalization of two projects it had in the South American country.

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