Venezuela expects oil arbitrations in the second half of 2013
"We don't expect resolutions this year. Probably the biggest cases (Conoco and Exxon) will be resolved in the second half of 2013," Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez remarked
Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips demand USD 40 billion in compensations from the Venezuelan Government, yet Venezuela looks forward to paying a small portion of it.
Venezuela faces 20 cases filed with both the International Arbitration Court of the International Chamber of Commerce and The World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Icsid), after it set off a wave of state takeovers.
"We don't expect resolutions this year. Probably the biggest cases (Conoco and Exxon) will be resolved in the second half of 2013," Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez remarked.
Venezuela's large number of compensation cases are being closely watched by the global oil industry as the imminent resolutions may set a precedent in future disputes involving producer states, which amid high oil prices lay down tougher conditions to foreign companies.
Industry analysts reckon Venezuela will end up paying USD 7-9 billion, which is less than what the companies expect, but more than what the Venezuelan Government seeks to pay (USD 2.5 billion). Analysts' estimates are based on the market value of the assets at the time of nationalization.
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.