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Panel Rules Venezuela Won't Have to Pay $1.4B to Exxon Mobil

The decision was celebrated in Caracas, where the socialist government is facing a cash shortfall triggered by collapsing oil production
By The News · 10 of March 2017 17:28:43
Exxon Mobil logo, Darren Woods, Chairman & CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation attends a news conference at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid, photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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.