Panel rules Venezuela won't have to pay $1.4B to Exxon Mobil

AP News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2017 7:22 PM

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.

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Corrects that original demand was for $16.6 billion.