Many put the decline down to Hugo Chavez being elected president in 1998, at which time he immediately increased state control of the oil industry. Chavez's questionable energy policies have led to a scenario whereby heavy domestic oil subsidies have driven domestic oil consumption up from 36 percent to 47 percent of the total energy mix in the last decade, reducing the amount of oil the country can to sell into the global market, according to OilPrice.There is also concern as to whether Russian firms will be able to maintain a foothold within a market that has seen international oil companies such as ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) face expropriation when they declined to give PDVSA majority control of their Venezuelan projects.
Russia Makes Inroads In Venezuelan Energy Sector
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