Venezuela lashes out at Exxon Mobil

Venezuela's top oil official accused Exxon Mobil Corp. of "judicial terrorism" on Friday, but said court orders won by the oil major do not amount to confiscation of US$12 billion. Exxon Mobil has gone after the assets of Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, in US, British and Dutch courts as it challenges the nationalization of a multibillion dollar oil project by President Hugo Chavez's government. A British court last month issued an injunction "freezing" as much as US$12 billion (€8.3 billion) in assets. But Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said: "They don't have any asset frozen. They only have frozen US$300 million" in cash through a U.S. court in New York. As for the case in Britain, PDVSA does not have "any assets in that jurisdiction that even come close to those sums" of US$12 billion , Ramirez said. Exxon Mobil spokeswoman Margaret Ross said the company had no comment on Ramirez's statements.