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John Fredriksen, make way for Venezuela's Onassis!

By Aleksander Boyd

London 21.08.06 | John Fredriksen is meant to be the world's leading shipping tycoon. But since competition is a given in our capitalist world, Venezuela's Onassis, aka Hugo Chavez, has pledged to purchase, since 2005, 62 oil tankers -36 from Brazil, 8 from Argentina and 18 from China- which will place him right up there in Fredriksen's league. Purportedly China's shipyards are to build some VLCCs for Chavez.

So the obvious questions are: from where will the oil needed to fill up those tankers come given the ever dwindling production of PDVSA?

The summation of the oil-tankers fleet expenditure and that of military purchases runs into the tens of billions of dollars. Wouldn't it be fair to say that such irresponsible expenditures run counter to Chavez's alleged 'socialist revolution'?

Will Hugo meet his extraordinary payment responsibilities or rather keep his electoral base happy?

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