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Conoco moves to take over Venezuelan PDVSA's Caribbean assets

U.S. oil firm ConocoPhillips has moved to take Caribbean assets of Venezuela’s state-run PDVSA to enforce a $2 billion arbitration award over a decade-oil nationalization of its projects in the South American country, according to three sources familiar with its actions.

The U.S. firm targeted facilities on the islands of Curacao, Bonaire and St. Eustatius that accounted for about a quarter of Venezuela’s oil exports last year. The three play key roles in processing, storing and blending PDVSA’s oil for export.

The company received court attachments freezing assets at least two of the facilities, and could move to sell them, one of the sources said.

Conoco’s legal maneuvers could further impair PDVSA’s declining oil revenue and the country’s convulsing economy. Venezuela is almost completely dependent on oil exports, which have fallen by a third since its peak and its refineries ran at just 31 percent of capacity in the first quarter.

A woman walks past a mural with the corporate logo of the state oil company PDVSA in Caracas, Venezuela November 3, 2017.

Marco Bello | Reuters
A woman walks past a mural with the corporate logo of the state oil company PDVSA in Caracas, Venezuela November 3, 2017.