Venezuela's parliament declared on Tuesday that 11 oil rigs seized from U.S. company Helmerich and Payne were now state-owned property, formalizing a move by the government to nationalize them.
Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said last week Venezuela would nationalize the rigs following a year-long dispute over pending payments by state oil company PDVSA.
Most lawmakers voted to list the 11 rigs as a public utility after the energy and mines commission brought the motion.
On Saturday, Ramirez said the OPEC member would pay Helmerich and Payne book value for the equipment and would agree a price in talks with the company.
Socialist President Hugo Chavez has nationalized most of the Latin American country's oil industry, starting with major heavy-crude projects worth billions of dollars in 2007, then taking over dozens of smaller service companies last year.
At the weekend, Ramirez said the government would not let the private sector idle equipment in pay disputes with PDVSA and did not rule out further nationalizations.
On Friday, PDVSA said it had reached agreements with 32 other companies over tariffs after the state firm fell behind in payments when oil prices collapsed in 2008.
(Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)