Venezuela moves to nationalize fuel distribution

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said wholesale gasoline sales by private companies in Venezuela would disappear as soon as his congressional allies gave final approval to a bill nationalizing the business. Venezuela's state-run oil company would control all fuel distribution but would not nationalize gas stations, under a bill that received initial approval in the National Assembly on Wednesday. Final approval is expected later this week. Fuel distributors like subsidiaries of British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. were hoping to persuade the government not to seize their businesses. Under a bill, fuel distributors would have 60 days to negotiate the sale of their businesses to the government or face expropriation.