CARACAS, June 13 Foreign energy companies
working in Venezuela with state oil firm PDVSA will not be
allowed to repatriate dividend payments if their projects fail
to hit production targets, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on
PDVSA is the majority partner in about 40 joint ventures
with a wide range of foreign companies at projects around the
OPEC nation, which boasts the world's biggest crude reserves.
"Any company that misses its production target will not be
able to repatriate dividends. The dividends must be reinvested
to meet the production goal," Ramirez said after a meeting with
executives from foreign oil companies working with PDVSA.
For years, the Venezuelan government has been putting
pressure on its joint venture partners to help it increase
output in a sector that is central to the country's economy.
Venezuela's crude production fell 3 percent to 3.03 million
bpd in 2012, according to PDVSA.
Seeking to drive forward projects in the extra heavy Orinoco
crude belt, Venezuela has agreed big loan deals this year with
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Chevron and
Schlumberger of the United States, and Russia's Rosneft