Editorial: Investing in Venezuela

Events in Venezuela throw into sharp relief three major categories of risk central to international oil and gas investment decisions: politics, price, and geology. Political conditions for investors in Venezuela have been deteriorating since the mercurial Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1998. For many companies, however, oil prices have risen enough to compensate for government assaults on the economics of Venezuelan ventures, for which geologic risks remain low.Thirty years after nationalizing its oil and gas industry, Venezuela is again confiscating oil company interests. Petroleos de Venezuela SA has taken over oil fields operated by Total and Eni, which hadn’t met a governm...

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