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Arbitration panel awards ExxonMobil $908 million over Venezuela nationalization

CARACAS -- An international arbitration panel awarded ExxonMobil about $908 million in a verdict over nationalized oil assets, according to a spokesman for the company.

The decision, by an arbitration court at the International Chamber of Commerce, "confirms that [state owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA] does have a contractual liability to ExxonMobil," spokesman Patrick McGinn said.

The verdict comes four years after ExxonMobil left Venezuela in a spat with the country' s government, which decreed that the state oil monopoly would have the majority stake in joint ventures with foreign partners.

The oil giant was reportedly seeking as much as $7 billion dollars in restitution. Bloomberg News reported Saturday that the Venezuelan government would have to pay the U.S. oil company $749 million.

Earlier this year Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said his government planned to pay no more than a total of $2.5 billion between its arbitration cases with ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips. Fellow oil major Chevron decided to accept PdVSA' s majority stake and remained in Venezuela.

In September, Ramirez also suggested the possibility of settling with ExxonMobil outside of courts, shortly after another government official told reporters that the country was negotiating a settlement of around $6 billion.

Dow Jones Newswires



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