Conoco Files for ICC Arbitration against PDVSA

Source: Reuters 10/10/2014, Location: South America

ConocoPhillips has filed for arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce against Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA for compensation related to the termination of its partnership contract after the nationalization of oil projects.

The ICC filing is separate from the U.S. oil company's arbitration pending before the World Bank's International Center for Settlement for Investment Disputes (ICSID), it said.

"By filing ICC arbitration against PDVSA, we are pursuing contractual remedies that are available to us," said Janet Langford Kelly, ConocoPhillips' senior vice president, Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

A representative at PDVSA was not immediately available to comment.

In September 2013, the ICSID tribunal ruled that Venezuela unlawfully expropriated ConocoPhillips' investment in the Petrozuata and Hamaca oil projects. The tribunal is now determining compensation for the assets.

On Thursday, ICSID ordered Venezuela to pay Exxon Mobil Corp $1.6 billion for oil assets that were nationalized in 2007. PDVSA said it expects to eventually pay closer to $1 billion.

Exxon had also filed for a separate ICC arbitration, to recover $907.6 million for the termination of its contract with PDVSA.

ConocoPhillips operated two heavy oil projects in the Orinoco Belt and another offshore project in Venezuela.

Shares of ConocoPhillips were down $1.16 or 1.6 percent at $70.28 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, hurt by a 1 percent decline in crude prices.

Crude oil traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell about 1 percent to $84.95 in morning trading.


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