CARACAS, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Wednesday that the country plans to nationalize 11 oil rigs belonging to U.S. company Helmerich and Payne.
The sidelined oil drills will be used to impulse oil production and strengthen the country's sovereignty over oil industry, said a statement from state oil company PDVSA.
The announcement was made by Ramirez, also the oil giant's president, at a press conference in the oil-rich state of Zulia.
Venezuela has nationalized much of the country's oil sector in the last three years, a move President Hugo Chavez adopted to strengthen control of national economy.
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