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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

May 12, 2009

Venezuela nationalizes Tidewater's Lake Maracaibo operations

Under a newly enacted law that reserves for the state the provision of goods and services related to the hydrocarbon industry, Venezuela's Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has taken control of 39 companies involved in such activities.

Today, PDVSA said that it had taken control of 90 percent of activities in Lake Maracaibo and was operating them "without the participation of the private sector."

Among the operations reportedly taken over are those of Tidewater, Inc., which has been providing services in Lake Maracaibo since 1957, Zulia Towing and Barge Co., C.A., diving services company Sea Tech and Terminales Maracaibo.

Tidewater has not disclosed how many boats have been seized, but says it will answer questions at its FY 2009 fourth quarter earnings conference call scheduled for Thursday, May 14, 2009, at approximately 10:00 a.m. CDT.


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