Oil giants squeeze #Chávez as #Venezuela struggles | guardian.co.uk
Italy’s ambassador to Caracas, Luigi Maccotta, told his US counterpart that Italian oil company ENI squeezed PDVSA over an Orinoco belt deal in January this year knowing it had no one else to turn to.
The Italians delayed the signing by two days to reinforce the Venezuelan government’s “need for ENI”. Paolo Scaroni, the company’s CEO, then faced down Venezuela’s oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, over changes to terms and conditions.
“Thirty minutes before the ceremony was supposed to begin Scaroni told Ramirez: ’Take it or leave it, I can get on my plane and move on.’ Ramirez apparently used that half an hour to convince President Chávez to accept all of ENI’s proposed changes or risk losing the deal,” according to the US cable. The Italians said they would not pay PDVSA a standard signing bonus because the company already owed them $1bn.