Venezuela President Hugo Chavez ordered by decree Monday the takeover of oil projects run by foreign oil companies in Venezuela's Orinoco River region.
Chavez previously had announced the government's intention to take a majority stake by May 1 in four heavy oil-upgrading projects run by British Petroleum PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., Total SA and Statoil ASA.
He said Monday he had signed the decree to proceed with the nationalizations that will see state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, taking at least a 60 percent stake in the projects.
"The privatization of oil in Venezuela has come to an end," he said on his weekday radio show, "Hello, President." "This marks the true nationalization of oil in Venezuela."
By May 1, "we will occupy these fields" and have the national flag flying on them, he said.