It'll be interesting to see if Hugo will get his money. Viva la Hugo! http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/30082007/323/venezuela-wants-exxon-conoco-phillips-leave-country.html Thursday August 30, 10:23 AM Venezuela wants Exxon, Conoco Phillips to leave country CARACAS (Thomson Financial) - The Venezuelan government wants Exxon Mobil to leave without compensation as they are refusing to come under state control, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said. The two US oil giants have refused to fall in line with a law passed by President Hugo Chavez's leftist government forcing multinationals to give at least 60 pct of the capital in their Venezuelan operations to the state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). Venezuela is one of the world's top 10 oil producers and a major supplier to the United States, its biggest customer. But Ramirez said late yesterday: 'We are negotiating with the companies that have not accepted our laws in order to finalise their departure from the country.' The minister said that the era of 'oil openness is over', adding that no compensation would be given to the US companies. 'We have been very clear since last year: quite simply, it does not interest us to work with companies that do not accept our laws,' Ramirez said as he left a Venezuelan parliament debate on energy. He added that those companies which do work with PDVSA would be allowed to stay in 'the biggest oil reserve on the planet' for at least 25 years. Venezuela is the only Latin-American member of OPEC, the main oil producers' cartel. Officially it produces about 3 mln barrels of oil per day but the International Energy Agency has given a figure of 2.6 mln. About half of the production goes to the United States. There is an estimated 230 bln barrels of oil in Venezuela's Orinoco field but 78 bln are proved.