Venezuela to slap 33% tax on foreign oil companies

President Hugo Chavez said Venezuela would take further steps to increase revenues from its petroleum industry, including a new tax on companies that extract oil in the South American nation. Chavez, who made the announcement Sunday during his weekly television and radio program, said the measure would create US$1 billion (€800 million) in new revenue. He said details of the new tax would be revealed in coming days. Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said the government was considering a 33.3 percent extraction tax. Oil companies would be able to subtract from tax bills whatever they pay the government in royalties, he told Union Radio.