A major oil company will not sign an agreement to give majority control of its oil operations in Venezuela to the government of President Hugo Chavez.
ConocoPhillips has refused to accept Venezuela's terms for compensation for its investments. News reports say ExxonMobil also will decline the deal.
President Chavez gave foreign oil companies until Tuesday to agree to give the government a 60 percent share of their operations.
Those facilities are said to be worth $25 billion or more, and some companies complain the compensation offered is too low.
ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil may seek arbitration or court action to resolve the dispute.
The Wall Street Journal cites unnamed sources and says it is not yet clear how other companies will respond.
Venezuela has already taken over foreign companies' assets in the telecommunications and electricity sectors.
Some information for this report was provided by Bloomberg and Reuters.