Original: As if oil prices weren’t already high enough, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is now threatening to cut off oil supplies to the U.S. depending on the outcome of a court case between Exxon Mobil and state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela. Exxon Mobil has gone after the assets of the Venezuelan oil company because of fears of the nationalization of a multibillion dollar oil project by Chavez's government.
The assets, which total some $12 billion, have been frozen by a British court, which led Chavez to make an outburst on local radio. "If you end up freezing Venezuelan assets and it harms us, we're going to harm you." Chavez explained on his weekly radio and television program, "Do you know how? We aren't going to send oil to the United States. Take note, Mr. Bush, Mr. Danger."
This isn’t the first time Chavez has threatened to cut off oil shipments to the U.S. He does the same every time Washington tries to oust him from his job, reports The Detroit News. If the oil does stop, however, it would have a significant effect on prices considering Venezuela accounted for about 12% of U.S. crude oil imports last year.