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Venezuela: Braskem, Petrobras to develop projects abandoned by majors

 FOREIGN majors have learned, since President Hugo Chávez took office in 1999, that Venezuela's energy sector is not as open to them as it was in the heyday of the 1990s apertura petrolera. While ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell are both still involved in oil projects in the country, they have bowed out – or have been ushered out – of petrochemicals and gas projects, respectively, over the last year or so. ExxonMobil had planned, until February, to build a $3bn petrochemicals complex with state-owned PdV's petrochemicals arm, Pequiven, at the Caribbean port of Jose. Shell, along with Japan's Mitsubishi, had planned, until mid-2005, to form a partnership with PdV to build a $2.7bn gas develo

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