ExxonMobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips are packing up and leaving Venezuela, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The paper reported the two oil companies are leaving behind their multibillion-dollar investments in Venezuela. Experts see this as further evidence that the relationship between Western oil companies and oil-rich countries is more troubled than at any point since the 1970s.
That tension is leaving companies with no option but to choose whether to accept less control of investments and smaller returns in order to remain in countries with abundant natural resources.
That could have big implications for Western oil companies, which are having trouble tapping new reserves, as well as for global consumers and their growing thirst for oil, according to the Journal.
Exxon and Conoco refused to join four other oil companies that signed over majority stakes in giant oil projects to Venezuela’s state oil company, Petrleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA). PdVSA almost doubled its stake in four major projects–totaling a combined value of $31 billion–to about 78%.