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Venezuela's National Assembly OKs Oil Joint Venture Deals


Venezuela's National Assembly has approved new joint venture deals with foreign oil companies, months after the companies were forced to give up their majority stakes to government control.

The agreements approved Tuesday create mixed companies consisting of Venezuela's state oil company and foreign minority partners (France's Total, Norway's Statoil, Britain's BP, and U.S.-based Chevron).

As part of the deals, the foreign companies will make multi-million dollar payments. This money will be subtracted from the amount Venezuela owes the companies for taking over their majority stakes in oil fields and refining plants. Chevron's agreement does not include a monetary contribution clause.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez seized majority control of the oil operations in the Orinoco Basin in May, offering foreign companies minority stakes.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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