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CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez ordered by decree on Monday the takeover of oil projects operated by foreign oil companies in Venezuela's Orinoco River region.
Chavez previously announced the government's intention to take a majority stake by May 1 in the four heavy oil-upgrading projects run by British Petroleum PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., Total SA and Statoil ASA.