Quotes from Hugo Chavez about the partners in the heavy crude partnerships who have suddenly become the bad guys (Taken from Friday’s Tal Cual):
March 20th. 2002:
“I was telling the President of Total and the Vice-President of Statoil, that they should be given a trophy, because they decided to start a project when it was claimed-it was 1998-that the devil had arrived to Venezuela. The devil was me, I was candidate Chavez, I was going to destroy all this, I was not going to recognize the contracts of the oil opening, I was going to disavow the agreements of Venezuela. However, they either have a very clear intelligence, or they have a courage that is devil proof, and because of this we have to congratulate them.
I am sure that they always knew that what this project is to make Venezuela a more decent country (sic).
Then, this is Venezuela’s reality, a country, a revolutionary Government, a legitimate Government that respects agreements, compromises and not only respects them, it backs them and I am here to confirm it and ratify it.
Thus, I am very interested in that you-Total Fina Elf and Statoil-and many other companies, together with us advance the gas project, not only in the Delta Platform, but also over there or right next to here the Paria project and even further the development of Venezuela.
Hugo Chavez, France, March 9th. 2005:
“We have decided that Total will go to from 200,000 to 400,000 barrels a day, doubling its production with an investment of a few million dollars. With Venezuela’s technology and allied with companies like Total, we extracting heavy oils and extra heavy oils from the Orinoco oil belt, taking it to the Jose terminal and transforming it in what we call nectar, oil that is worth gold and which it is sold anywhere in the world as synthetic oil.
Total has understood what the new Venezuelan legislation is about, with a new royalty payment”