In a decision that could cost billions, it appears a stand-off with the Venezuelan government means two major U.S. oil companies will stop pumping from one of the world’s richest deposits.
Exxon Mobil and Conoco-Phillips have refused to sign deals with Venezuela to continue using the Orinoco River basin.
Analysts said the move won’t translate into more pain at the pump for consumers because other companies will step in and pump out of the reserve. But the two companies will most likely feel the loss after they, along with four other companies invested billions of dollars in the basin.
It’s not clear if they’ll be able to reclaim their money, but the U.S. is asking Venezuela to compensate the two oil companies.
The move is part of a broader nationalization effort by the Venezuelan government.