Exxon ruling in Venezuela could set precedent - Barclays

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

An upcoming ruling on damages claimed by Exxon Mobil will set a precedent for future Venezuela oil nationalization cases, a Barclays analyst report said.

World Bank arbitration court ICSID is expected to issue a ruling on damages Exxon Mobil is seeking from Venezuela for nationalizing the Cerro Negro heavy crude project in 2007.

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Expected as soon as this week, ICSID's ruling will likely range from US$700mn to US$1.2bn, according to local and international media reports.

The ruling will set a precedent for similar cases such as a US$20bn claim from ConocoPhillips, Barclays said.

This is Exxon Mobil's second case against Venezuela. In a prior case heard by the International Chamber of Commerce, the firm was awarded US$908mn in compensation, far below the US$6.5bn-7bn it was seeking.

ICSID's ruling presents no risk to Venezuela's upcoming debt payments, as both parties may appeal the decision, a process which normally takes 12-15 months, Barclays noted.

Last week Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro denied rumors that the nation might seek to sell its US oil refining and transportation asset Citgo in order to minimize its exposure in relation to the Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips claims.

BNamericas will host its 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima, Peru, on November 12-13. Click here to download the agenda.