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Nationalisations return to Venezuela's oil industry

Under late president Hugo Chávez, nationalisations were commonplace in Venezuela's oil patch. One of the most pressing questions facing investors since Nicolas Maduro, Chávez's hand-picked successor, won the presidency earlier this year has been whether he would continue the policy or seek to shape a more investor-friendly climate

All was quiet through the first six-months of Maduro's presidency as he sought to ensure potential investors that Venezuela was open for business and seeking help to boost slumping oil production. That changed last week when his government nationalised two oil rigs owned by Houston-based oilfield services company Superior Energy Services, according to an Associated Press report. According to the report, a judge, accompanied by local police and national guard personnel, entered a depot housing the two rigs in the northeastern state of Anzoategui. Superior employees were then ordered to load the equipment onto state-run PdV trucks where they would be put to work elsewhere. "It was like a thie

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