WASHINGTON — A World Bank arbitration panel has determined that Venezuela will not have to pay $1.4 billion to Exxon Mobil Corp. for confiscating company assets during a wave of nationalizations.
Exxon Mobil asked the bank’s investment dispute panel for $12 billion for the seizure of its Cerro Negro facilities in the Orinoco Basin under then-President Hugo Chavez. The panel awarded $1.4 billion, a decision that was appealed by Venezuela.
The Washington-based panel issued a ruling Friday that annulled most of the overall $1.6 billion judgment against Venezuela. The decision was celebrated in Caracas, where the socialist government is facing a cash shortfall triggered by collapsing oil production.
A lawyer for Venezuela said the decision was “correct and courageous.” Exxon Mobil did not immediately respond to a request for comment.