Venezuela nationalized some oil assets in 2008. After some clashes with Easern oil companies, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez decided to give contracts to Western (mostly American) oil companies. Some Venezuelans were concerned about Western companies' investments and operations. However, Chavez hopes to be able to help his country's now hurting ecomomy and its flagging oil production.
The United States is the largest consumer of Venezuelan oil. The oil companies want to drill in the Orinoco Belt, an area in Venezuela that contains one of the worlds largest recoverable oil reserves. Although many companies bid on the contracts, some American companies declined to bid. This may be because of the politics of Hugo Chavez,or the Venezuelan economic policies.
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