Venezuela this week took control of privately run installations in what could be the world’s richest oil fields, as part of leftist President Hugo Chavez’s nationalization drive. State-run PDVSA will now have a minimum 60 percent stake in four Orinoco joint ventures, which can produce 600,000 barrels of crude a day, a fifth of the country’s total production, and are valued at USD 25 billion. A Standard & Poor’s credit analyst warned the action would affect Venezuela’s risk rating, which in turn would have implications on the health of the economy at a time when the overall business climate continues to worsen. (AFP)

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