Four multinational oil companies have finally agreed to cede control of Venezuela’s last remaining privately run oil projects to President Hugo Chávez’s government.

Officials from Chevron, BP, Total and Statoil signed memorandums of understanding this week agreeing to give state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela a majority stake in three of the projects. Exxon Mobil signed earlier in private, officials said.

However ConocoPhillips has resisted, prompting warnings its fields could be taken over outright. The companies pump and process heavy oil in the Orinoco River basin. Chávez decreed last month that their fields should be nationalized.