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Exxon Wins $749M for Nationalized Venezuela Assets

The International Chamber of Commerce in New York, an international arbitration court, gave a “favorable” ruling to Venezuela’s state oil company, a company spokesman said today. The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID, is also due to rule on the case.

The people, who declined to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about the case publicly, said the decision was handed down late this month.

Chavez, who has nationalized assets in the energy, metals, cement and telecommunications industries, currently faces about 20 arbitration cases at the ICSID, according to the Washington- based center’s website. Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said in September that the country was willing to pay Exxon $1 billion after Carlos Escarra, the country’s prosecutor general, told reporters that the two companies were negotiating a settlement of about $6 billion.

Patrick McGinn, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil in Houston, said he wasn’t immediately able to comment. The PDVSA spokesman, who declined to be named citing company policy, said Ramirez was unlikely to comment on the ruling today.

PDVSA set aside about $1 billion to $1.5 billion in anticipation of the judgment, Credit Suisse said in June. Exxon, the world’s largest oil company by market value, cut the amount it was seeking from PDVSA in October 2010 to $7 billion from $12 billion.

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