Actually, Venezuela was nationalizing its oil industry in the early 70's - when Hugo Chávez was still a teenager. Nationalization was complete and PDVSA was born when he was 22 years old. So Chávez did not nationalize Venezuela's oil industry as Reuters states. He did however, put teeth into the then existing nationalization, requiring foreign oil companies to pay for what they had previously paid little to nothing - and forced them to give up controlling interest to the government, i.e. the people. Reported in Wikipedia:"So for all practical purposes, Venezuela was already well on its way to nationalization by 1972. It did not become official however until the presidency of Carlos Andrés Pérez, whose economic plan, 'La Gran Venezuela', called for the nationalization of the oil industry and diversification of the economy via import substitution. The country officially nationalized its oil industry on 1 January 1976, and along with it came the birth of Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) which is the Venezuelan state-owned petroleum company. All foreign oil companies that once did business in Venezuela were replaced by Venezuelan companies. PDVSA controls activity involving oil and natural gas in Venezuela. In 1980, PDVSA bought the US company Citgo and is the third-largest oil company in the world."
"OPEC said that Saudi Arabia's reserves stood at 265 billion barrels in 2009." - and ..."A year ago, the U.S. Geological Survey reported that the Orinoco belt held some 513 billion barrels of crude that could be recovered."
Venezuela Says Oil Reserves Surpass Saudi Arabia's
January 17, 2011