Great idea: Venezuela seizing U.S. oil rigs

posted at 7:01 pm on November 2, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Nicolas Maduro has so far managed to mostly avoid the showy expropriations of which his predecessor Hugo Chavez was so very fond in times of political need, but the rapidly deteriorating social and economic situation in Venezuela is moving toward a desperate-times, desperate-measures scenario for the new Venezuelan leader. The socialist country relies on oil for almost all of its exports and about half of its government revenue, but their lately dwindling production capacity is a reflection — not of dwindling supply (indeed, they some of the world’s largest proven reserves) –  but rather of dwindling investment in their shady business environment. Exhibit A, via the AP:

Venezuela has quietly seized control of two oil rigs owned by a unit of Houston-based Superior Energy Services after the company shut them down because the state oil monopoly was months behind on payments.

The seizure took place Thursday after a judge in the state of Anzoategui, accompanied by four members of the local police and national guard, entered a Superior depot and ordered it to hand over control of two specialized rigs to an affiliate of PDVSA, the state-owned oil producer.

PDVSA justified the equipment’s expropriation, calling it essential to the South American nation’s development and welfare, according to a court order obtained by The Associated Press. Company workers were instructed to load the rigs, known as snubbing units and used to repair damaged casing, onto trucks to be deployed at “critical wells” elsewhere, according to the document.

“It was like a thief breaking into your house, asking for the keys to the safe and then expecting you to help carry it away,” Jesus Centeno, local operations manager for Superior in the city of Anaco, said by phone. “Their argument was that we were practically sabotaging national production.”

Oil companies are getting pretty sick of working with PDVSA, which has racked up huge debts to the service contractors on which Venezuela depends to keep their oil-based economy running — and hey, seizing other people’s assets is definitely going to help spur the type of business “investment” Maduro claims he wants, right? Uncertainty, for the win! …Or something.

Though Venezuela still has plenty of oil, the haul of petrodollars can hardly keep pace with capital flight, as middle-class and rich Venezuelans hurry to take their savings abroad ahead of what they assume will be an imminent crash. No wonder the greenback has spiked on the black market, now fetching on the streets a record six times the official exchange rate.

It’s no mystery what Venezuela must do to reverse the crisis. Economists say the government must devalue the enfeebled currency— ironically called the bolivar fuerte (the strong bolivar)—and lift the Soviet-style market controls that are emptying supermarket shelves and chasing away investors. Without predictable rules for doing business, there will be even fewer takers for Venezuela’s high-risk government bonds.


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As an oil patch service worker, I will be doing no business in Venezuela. It was a paradise before Chavez. It is now a dung heap. My men will not go there as long as I am in charge.

Wino on November 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Are they looking for toilet paper?

kcewa on November 2, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Are these rigs corporate property, or some sort of quasi Venezuela leased things? Seriously, if they are private US company property, the US government needs to step in and say not so fast there peeps.

Johnnyreb on November 2, 2013 at 7:07 PM

And in case you didn’t know, PDVSA is pronounced: “Pay-Da-VAY-sa.”

Wino on November 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Are these rigs corporate property, or some sort of quasi Venezuela leased things? Seriously, if they are private US company property, the US government needs to step in and say not so fast there peeps.

Johnnyreb on November 2, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Owned by Superior. Well, not anymore. They’ve been “expropriated” by the Venezuelans. Nothing will be done. I don’t know if insurance will pay or not. I believe “not.”

Wino on November 2, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Wow, even obama’s socialist/commie buddies attack him…yes, they can.

Weasels, rejoice!

Schadenfreude on November 2, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Looks like Niki and his pals are rapidly running out of other people’s money.

GarandFan on November 2, 2013 at 7:17 PM

So, what do you figure the Wuss-in-Chief has in mind?

No. No. Besides golf…

socalcon on November 2, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Though Venezuela still has plenty of oil, the haul of petrodollars can hardly keep pace with capital flight, as middle-class and rich Venezuelans hurry to take their savings abroad ahead of what they assume will be an imminent crash. No wonder the greenback has spiked on the black market, now fetching on the streets a record six times the official exchange rate.

Seems the Venezuelan middle class are smarter than the U.S. middle class by God. Over here, we just sit here and take it as we become the Proles.

Because we all know the pendulum’s going to swing back the other way, especially if we get GOP candidate X into the White House.

OK, OK, I’m done laughing…

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 2, 2013 at 7:25 PM

As close to the prototypical casus belli as you will ever find.

cozmo on November 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM

I’m sensing that our government will write a strongly worded letter to the Venezuelan government in response to this outrage. Then they’ll forget to mail it.

rihar on November 2, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Owned by Superior. Well, not anymore. They’ve been “expropriated” by the Venezuelans. Nothing will be done. I don’t know if insurance will pay or not. I believe “not.”

Wino on November 2, 2013 at 7:11 PM

There was a day this would have been called what it is: piracy. And, the US government would not have stood idly by.

GWB on November 2, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Seriously, where is the response to take these back? I assume they are doing things diplomatically right now but at some point the military may need to step in and defend the property of this American company.

Ellis on November 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Ellis on November 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Why?

Those rigs would then come home.

This administration is against offshore drilling.

They want them to be gone and may well have given Chavez jr. the okay.

cozmo on November 2, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Don’t all companies “doing business” in Venezuela factor into their bottom line that this crazy crap could happen at any whim or need of the Venezuelan socialists?

If they didn’t, I have little sympathy for their plight. Venezuela is a known commidity, even to a dunce like me.
My guess is these companies took what profits they could – when they could – and weren’t caught off stride.

It’s third world Venezuela, for crying out loud. They’re a crazy dictatorship that can’t provide a reliable toilet paper supply. What did they expect?

Obama will do nothing. Period.

marybel on November 2, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Nothing new. I watched some family friends lose everything in that sh*t hole of a country in the mid 1970′s.

DDay on November 2, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Don’t all companies “doing business” in Venezuela factor into their bottom line that this crazy crap could happen at any whim or need of the Venezuelan socialists?

Do you think we didn’t start moving assets to Venezuela until after Chavez was elected? We have been in Venezuela forever. How do you propose we move a drilling rig out of Venezuela when it’s sitting on Lago Maracaibo, without the government stopping us? I’d like to know your plan, because if it’s feasible, I’m going to retire in 6 months after it’s implemented for being the one who enacted it.

Wino on November 2, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Why do I get the feeling that we are about to end up just like Venezuela?

bgibbs1000 on November 2, 2013 at 7:44 PM

…send the bio-fuel navy!

KOOLAID2 on November 2, 2013 at 7:47 PM

It’s time to start fracking in earnest and shut down our imports of oil from countries like Venezuela. I believe they’ve sold CITGO, but if they haven’t, it’s time to put them out of this country. Then, when we can get our oil production up, let’s go out and compete on the open market with them and show them what real capitalism is.

There’s only one reason Venezuela has money and it’s their oil. If they can’t sell it, they’re screwed. Let the Saudi’s and others just eat their oil. There just comes a time when you can’t take it any more and shouldn’t take it any more. NOw is the time. I hope our President has figured that out. In the old days we’d have sent a couple of battleships down there to bomb them, not any more.

bflat879 on November 2, 2013 at 7:48 PM

If you like your oil rigs, you can keep your oil rigs.

albill on November 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Don’t all companies “doing business” in Venezuela factor into their bottom line that this crazy crap could happen at any whim or need of the Venezuelan socialists?

I read a great article once how it’s completely impossible to factor this in, and how crooked court systems sink the entire country for this very reason.

You can project possible gains and losses and try to put a potential risk factor on that. When the possible downside is complete loss of everything–like no, seriously, all your physical assets seized and any local accounts as well–how exactly do you factor that into a plan? It comes out to “we may grow 5% this year or suffer complete loss of every dime of capital.”

Don’t forget that they can’t charge 1000% of normal costs to “make up the difference” in this market just because the government is crazy, because oil prices are set by a worldwide market that doesn’t give a crap about Venezuela in particular.

TexasDan on November 2, 2013 at 7:56 PM

bgibbs1000 on November 2, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Of course we’ll wind up like them
because we’ll damn sure try
harder .

Lucano on November 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Why do I get the feeling that we are about to end up just like Venezuela?

bgibbs1000 on November 2, 2013 at 7:44 PM

There is a significant difference between the Venezuelans and the Americans.

We are the decedents of the Sons of Liberty.

We will put up with just so much and our patience is only so deep.

They should fear us greatly.

turfmann on November 2, 2013 at 8:01 PM

So, abandon it, and on the way out, hit FORMAT-C on the hard drives and walk away from it.

SCrew Venezuela and their communist shit hole.

TX-96 on November 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Smacks of,……

*************** Act of War ********************************!!!

canopfor on November 2, 2013 at 8:04 PM

It’s a good thing Obama knows nothing about it.

claudius on November 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM

This is a perfect citrus salad operation: Strike, 93rd AFR F16′s out of Homestead. CAP, 325th FW 22′s or 15′s out of Tyndill, and keeping everyone happy are the 6th AMW 135′s out of McDill.

Burning holes in the ocean.

dmann on November 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

As close to the prototypical casus belli as you will ever find.

cozmo on November 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM

True, but in this case, he’s only doing what Obama and half of congress would like to do themselves, so no dice on any declaration of war.

Count to 10 on November 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

If I were the company, I’d sneak in and blow them up. You want rigs? Build your own.

Sarjex on November 2, 2013 at 8:12 PM

So, what do you figure the Wuss-in-Chief has in mind?

No. No. Besides golf…

socalcon on November 2, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Ask Putin for help?

ShainS on November 2, 2013 at 8:19 PM

So, what do you figure the Wuss-in-Chief has in mind?

No. No. Besides golf…

socalcon on November 2, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Ask Darrell Issa to hold committee hearings?

ShainS on November 2, 2013 at 8:20 PM

They should fear us greatly.

turfmann on November 2, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Not nearly as many of us as there should be, though. It’s time to make them fear the freemen of the country.

GWB on November 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

MeanWhile,..Venezuela is on a roll:
===================================

MeanWhile,…..on the high Seas…..and not a peep anywhere since
the 11TH??!!
============

Venezuela Navy escorts seized US-chartered oil ship into port – @AP

20 mins ago from abcnews.go.com by editor
=============================================

Venezuela Navy Escorts Seized Oil Vessel Into Port
CARACAS, Venezuela October 14, 2013 (AP)
By FABIOLA SANCHEZ Associated Press
Associated Press
****************

A U.S.-chartered oil exploration ship seized by the Venezuelan navy in Caribbean waters disputed with neighboring Guyana was escorted into port at Venezuela’s Margarita Island on Sunday.

Venezuelan authorities said the ship’s 36 crew members, including five U.S. citizens and two Brazilians, would be held on board while an investigation continued.

Adm. Angel Belisario Martinez told local station Union Radio that the research ship was conducting “unauthorized scientific work” in Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone. He said the case had been turned over to prosecutors.

Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry had said Friday that the ship and its crew would be subject to an “inquiry under the International Maritime Law and pursuant to the safeguarding of our sovereignty in maritime areas.”

The 285-foot survey ship Teknik Perdana was detained by Venezuelan sailors Thursday in contested waters off the coast of Guyana. The seizure is threatening to revive a decades-old territorial dispute between Venezuela, South America’s biggest oil producer, and Guyana, one of the region’s poorest countries.

The vessel, sailing under a Panamanian flag, was conducting a seismic study for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. under a concession from Guyana. Guyana’s government says the crew was well within Guyana’s territorial waters.

Texas-based Anadarko said it was working with the U.S. and Guyanese governments to secure the release of the crew and the vessel.

Gregory Adams, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, told The Associated Press that the embassy had not been given any official information on the five detained U.S. citizens.

The ship’s crew also includes two Britons, two Russians, a Frenchman, five Ukrainians, two Brazilians, five Malaysians and 14 Indonesians.

Guyana’s government on Saturday requested a meeting with Venezuelan officials next week to discuss the seizure, which its Foreign Ministry earlier called an “unprecedented” act in Guyana-Venezuela relations.

Venezuela has for decades claimed two-thirds of Guyana’s territory as its own, arguing that the gold-rich region west of the Essequibo River was stolen from it by an 1899 agreement with Britain and its then colony. The area is a fixture of 19th century maps of Gran Colombia, the short-lived republic revered by the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Ties between the two countries had improved recently. Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro, made his first visit as president to Georgetown in August to discuss joint oil projects with his Guyanese counterpart, Donald Ramotar. During the visit, Maduro described the dispute as a relic of the colonial era and vowed to peacefully resolve the issue.
=============================

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/venezuela-navy-escorts-seized-oil-vessel-port-20559918

canopfor on October 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM

canopfor on November 2, 2013 at 8:25 PM

And,…..
==========

US Ship Siezed Part Deux:
===========================

Tweets

Maritime Executive ‏@Mar_Ex 11 Oct

Venezuela Detains US Operated Ship http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/Venezuela-Detains-US-Operated-Ship-2013-10-11/
==================

October 11, 2013
Venezuela Detains U.S. Operated Ship

By MarEx
********

http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/Venezuela-Detains-US-Operated-Ship-2013-10-11/

canopfor on October 13, 2013 at 9:04 PM

canopfor on November 2, 2013 at 8:26 PM

They should fear us greatly.

turfmann on November 2, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Not nearly as many of us as there should be, though. It’s time to make them fear the freemen of the country.

GWB on November 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

What we lack in quantity though … we more than make up for in quality … ;-)

ShainS on November 2, 2013 at 8:33 PM

If I were the company, I’d sneak in and blow them up. You want rigs? Build your own.

Sarjex on November 2, 2013 at 8:12 PM

If I was the company, I’d sneak in and blow up something else.

TexasDan on November 2, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Game – Set – Match …………..enjoy!

dmann on November 2, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Smacks of,……

*************** Act of War *****************!!!

canopfor on November 2, 2013 at 8:04 PM

.
Under Reagan, or either of the Bush’s … totally !

Hell … under ANY President, besides Carter, Clinton, or Obama.

listens2glenn on November 2, 2013 at 8:52 PM

in something like this does insurance even help at all?

dmacleo on November 2, 2013 at 8:53 PM

ooobaaamaaa, oooobaaaamaaaaaa, oooobaaamaaaaa, oooobaaaamaaa. The one, the uniter, the peacemaker, who makes the oceans recede, our savior……..

Even the Venezuelans fear him…… NOT!

ultracon on November 2, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Two words for ya, Superior, and any other company facing the theft oftheir property, or enterprise by a despotic government or a looter society:

Wyatt’s Torch

LegendHasIt on November 2, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Are these rigs corporate property, or some sort of quasi Venezuela leased things? Seriously, if they are private US company property, the US government needs to step in and say not so fast there peeps.

Johnnyreb

You do realize who’s the titular head of the US government, right?

If anything, Obama’s jealous of Maduro ….

BD57 on November 2, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Americans should totally boycott Citco stations. We should not be trading with this country.

rich8450 on November 2, 2013 at 9:01 PM

so…this is a super good thing cause Y’know Oil is really bad for Polar Bears and jungle tribes and stuff – Average Occupy Enviro-Anarchist BWV (Brain washed voter)

workingclass artist on November 2, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Obama’s takin it up his own butt….

Just like he’s doing with the climate gorebull warming thing.

/Obama… Takin’ it Up Da Butt

What a legacy.

Oh, I said “leg” .. sorry.

Key West Reader on November 2, 2013 at 9:12 PM

Their system would work if they only had the right people running it.

/

mankai on November 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Sort of off topic but why are gas prices up and oil prices down?

Cindy Munford on November 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Sort of off topic but why are gas prices up and oil prices down?

Cindy Munford on November 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

refineries and crude type maybe?

dmacleo on November 2, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Well kids, a prime example… of why, in he past JOBS and Businesses didn’t get out sourced…… America used to be a politically stable country and these kind of risks were to high to do business else were……. then American corporations got together with politicians and used our military might to make tin pot dictators fall in line…..if they didn’t the CIA would find people that would……… and ya wonder why businesses left America…… of course it won’t be long before this gubRmint starts doing the same thang.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on November 2, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Sort of off topic but why are gas prices up and oil prices down?

Cindy Munford on November 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Bush!
Sequester!
Republicans shut down the government!
Ted Cruz sabotaged the HHS website!
Fox News!
The Tea Party!

Take your pick.

Oldnuke on November 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

We will put up with just so much and our patience is only so deep.

They should fear us greatly.

turfmann

lol, good one. Now if only it were true.

xblade on November 2, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Send in a SEAL team. Blow them up.

BallisticBob on November 2, 2013 at 10:31 PM

This is not new. PDVSA is practically family.

egmont on November 2, 2013 at 10:43 PM

If you like your oil rigs, you can keep your oil rigs.

albill on November 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM

in something like this does insurance even help at all?

dmacleo on November 2, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Excuse me. I just snorted my milk and cookies out of my nose.

unclesmrgol on November 2, 2013 at 10:47 PM

There was a day this would have been called what it is: piracy. And, the US government would not have stood idly by.

GWB on November 2, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Our allies don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us.

Someone really really smart said that.

Defenestratus on November 2, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Obama’s “Family Friend” Bill Ayers travelled to Venezuela and spoke at the World Education Forum in November 2006. His comments began and ended with this [emphasis mine]:

President Hugo Chavez, Vice-President Vicente Rangel, Ministers Moncada and Isturiz, invited guests, comrades. I’m honored and humbled to be here with you this morning. I bring greetings and support from your brothers and sisters throughout Northamerica. Welcome to the World Education Forum! Amamos la revolucion Bolivariana!

This is my fourth visit to Venezuela, each time at the invitation of my comrade and friend Luis Bonilla, a brilliant educator and inspiring fighter for justice. Luis has taught me a great deal about the Bolivarian Revolution and about the profound educational reforms underway here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution

…we, too, must build a project of radical imagination and fundamental change. Venezuela is poised to offer the world a new model of education– a humanizing and revolutionary model whose twin missions are enlightenment and liberation. This World Education Forum provides us a unique opportunity to develop and share the lessons and challenges of this profound educational project that is the Bolivarian Revolution.

Viva Mission Sucre!
Viva Presidente Chavez!
Viva La Revolucion Bolivariana!
Hasta La Victoria Siempre!

Truth: Those last four lines are roughly translated:

Long Live Mission Sucre!
Long Live President Chavez!
Long Live the Bolivarian Revolution!
Until the Victory Always!

These are the comrades, the fellow travellers, with which Obama shares his journey…

ITguy on November 2, 2013 at 11:33 PM

U.S. Investigates Voting Machines’ Venezuela Ties
By TIM GOLDEN
Published: October 29, 2006

The federal government is investigating the takeover last year of a leading American manufacturer of electronic voting systems by a small software company that has been linked to the leftist Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chávez.

Why is Venezuela anywhere close to being involved with our voting machines?

ITguy on November 2, 2013 at 11:42 PM

TexasDan on November 2, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Thank you for your patient, thoughtful response. Much appreciated.

marybel on November 2, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Soros in Venezuelan Deal
Published in the New York Times: September 26, 1998

George Soros has increased his stake in the Venezuelan real estate company Fondo de Valores Inmobiliarios SACA, picking up an additional 20 percent in the company for $20 million earlier this month, the newspaper El Nacional reported today. The latest purchase puts Mr. Soros’s share at about 34.5 percent. Mr. Soros also owns shares in Banco Provincial S.A., Banco Caracas S.A., Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela and C.A. Electricidad de Caracas.

ITguy on November 2, 2013 at 11:49 PM

Since this is an act of piracy, we could send in the Marines.

If they aren’t too busy trying on girly hats.

Socratease on November 3, 2013 at 12:02 AM

I’m not sure if it possible in Venezuela but one hopes they will freeze -or in the alternative, starve -in the dark.

Mason on November 3, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Company workers were instructed to load the rigs, known as snubbing units and used to repair damaged casing, onto trucks to be deployed at “critical wells” elsewhere, according to the document.

“Meanwhile, politicians use their economic power to create their own personal empires. In one such scheme, the Taggart freight cars needed to haul the Minnesota wheat harvest to market are diverted to a project run by the relatives of powerful politicians. The wheat rots at the Taggart stations, the farmers riot, farms shut down (as do many of the companies providing them with equipment), people lose their jobs, and severe food shortages result.”

I guess the Venezuelans never read the Cliffnotes from Atlas Shrugged. If they had, they’d know how this turns out.

MichaelGabriel on November 3, 2013 at 12:32 AM

Snubbing units are not a “rig” per se, but rather a device that a rig would use to work on well that is live or has the pontential to flow while work is being performed. It essentially contains the pressure with large rubber inflatable bladders that seal against the pipe that you run in and out of the well to work on the wellbore.

I tell you how the watch is made to tell you that these are rather dangerous and complex items, and require rather specialized people to operate. Or you end up with a blowout. They also require extraordinary maintenance. Not any set of monkeys can operate or maintains these. And you don’t just get the parts from the Venezuelan Wal marts. Their isnt much PDVSA can do with them without Superior’s people and parts. They are essentially boat anchors otherwise, unless PDVSA wants to sell them back to Surperior or auction them off to some other service provider.

That being said, Venezuela pulls this tactic as a way of negotiating their bills, and operating contracts.. They will negotiate a better position, get some graft for a few inlaws and state officials , then let superior back in and continue on for while until the next round of negotiations needs to take place. It’s not new.

PDVSA needs American, and more often Canadian, expertise to develop, operate and maintain their fields. They simply cannot function without outside help. This goes on all the time.

elowe on November 3, 2013 at 12:46 AM

We are watching Atlas Shrugged play out in full detail. Remember when Mexico seized the San Sebastian mines in the book? That is exactly like what is going on in Venezuela. That combined with the descriptions of their motor city and the current state of Detroit being scarily the same and I am beginning to think that Ayn Rand might have been as prescient as The Apostle John who wrote Revelations.

Theophile on November 3, 2013 at 1:03 AM

Don’t invest anything in the country. Have them pay upfront for everything.

Karmashock on November 3, 2013 at 3:46 AM

Drone the rigs! Issue solved.

Don L on November 3, 2013 at 5:01 AM

Better yet, drone those two and a dozen or two more in keeping with their might makes right ideology.

Don L on November 3, 2013 at 5:02 AM

Soviet-style market controls that are emptying supermarket shelves and chasing away investors. Without predictable rules for doing business, there will be even fewer takers for Venezuela’s high-risk government bonds.

Venezuela: Obama’s “City on a Hill”

blammm on November 3, 2013 at 6:14 AM

“I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It’s yours. ”
-Ellis Wyatt

weaselyone on November 3, 2013 at 7:55 AM

We are watching Atlas Shrugged play out in full detail. Remember when Mexico seized the San Sebastian mines in the book? That is exactly like what is going on in Venezuela. That combined with the descriptions of their motor city and the current state of Detroit being scarily the same and I am beginning to think that Ayn Rand might have been as prescient as The Apostle John who wrote Revelations.

Theophile on November 3, 2013 at 1:03 AM

Except there was no copper in the San Sebastian Mines. D’Anconia set up the looters for a fall. The Venezuelans took over active wells that actually produce something of value.

weaselyone on November 3, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Just you wait til our Bystander sees this in the evening news. He’ll think to himself, so that’s how it’s done. He’s gotten us so low on the world leader totem pole that even a pos country like Venezuela thinks it can kick us in the rear.

Kissmygrits on November 3, 2013 at 8:03 AM

In fantasy world, we could drag some B-58s out of the junkpile, load ‘em up and drop ‘em robot-style on his head. In real world, we’ve got banker puppet “leaders”, ain’t gonna happen. What a shame.

S. D. on November 3, 2013 at 8:19 AM

I have a question for those in the know: Do other nations have oil rigs there? If so, is Venezuela only seizing American owned rigs, or are they also seizing Chinese rigs, British rigs, or Canadian rigs?

Wouldn’t the meaning of this become more… interesting if Venezuela was only targeting America.

Johnny 100 Pesos on November 3, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Sort of off topic but why are gas prices up and oil prices down?

Cindy Munford on November 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

There are often lags between changes in oil and gas prices. In this case it may be the switchover to winter blends, which run up refining costs from what I’ve heard.

Meremortal on November 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Texas company, Venezuala is a friend of the Obamites. Maduro probably did this with Obamite approval.

davod on November 3, 2013 at 1:01 PM

We should send in the SEAL’s, as soon as they get those evil Navy jacks off their unies.

Akzed on November 3, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Though Venezuela still has plenty of oil, the haul of petrodollars can hardly keep pace with capital flight, as middle-class and rich Venezuelans hurry to take their savings abroad ahead of what they assume will be an imminent crash.

It’s not just the crash, it’s the confiscation, why do you continue to build a private business in Venezuela when they take it from you. That is not investment, that is communism.

Fleuries on November 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Since it’s fossil fuels we are talking about, Venezuela has performed the unpopular job of shutting down oil production so that Obama does not have to.

virgo on November 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM