WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.
The Washington-based panel issued a ruling that annulled most of the $1.6 billion judgment against Venezuela. The decision was celebrated in Caracas, where the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro is facing a cash shortfall triggered by collapsing oil production.
Exxon Mobil had asked the bank's investment dispute panel for $16.6 billion for the seizure of its Cerro Negro facilities in the Orinoco Basin under then-President Hugo Chavez.
A lawyer for Venezuela said Friday that the decision was "correct and courageous."
An Exxon Mobil spokesman said the panel affirmed an award of $180 million plus interest related to the expropriation of some assets. He said the company was evaluating the panel's overall decision to determine its next steps.
Corrects that original demand was for $16.6 billion.