Oh, This is Getting Fugly

Talk about gasbags!

…Tax increases on the Orinoco projects had been rumoured, but the speed with which they look set to be implemented mirrors the suddenness with which Bolivia last week announced the nationalisation of its natural gas fields.
President Hugo Chávez, who has offered full backing to Bolivian President Evo Morales for his nationalisation plans, announced only last Sunday he wanted to increase income tax on the Orinoco projects from 34 per cent to 50 per cent, and double the royalty rate from 16.7 per cent to 33.3 per cent.
Mr Chávez enjoys practically full and unalloyed support in the legislature, or National Assembly, and the measure’s prompt approval is virtually guaranteed.

The multinationals working in the belt don’t play, Hugo no pay. In fact, he might just call the game off…

Humberto Calderón Berti, a former energy minister, warned that Venezuela might also seek conversion of the Orinoco projects into state-majority joint ventures.

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