Chevron "optimistic" about Venezuelan takeover

MIAMI Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:11pm EDT

MIAMI (Reuters) - Chevron Corp. (CVX.N) is "optimistic" about the future of foreign oil companies in Venezuela's vast Orinoco reserve following the government's planned takeover of their multibillion-dollar projects there, a company official said on Thursday.

"We're optimistic that on these conversions of the heavy oil projects there's an opportunity for the companies to come out OK," said Peter Sommer, Chevron's commercial manager for Latin American exploration and production.

Sommer, who spoke at a Latin American conference sponsored by the University of Miami's Center for Hemispheric Policy, said negotiations over the nationalizations affecting investments by Chevron, Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), Conoco Phillips (COP.N), Norway's Statoil (STL.OL), Britain's BP Plc (BP.L) and Total (TOTF.PA) of France were still under way.

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