Nothing left for Exxon, Venezuela says

Jan. 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM
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CARACAS, Venezuela, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- With a dispute with Exxon Mobil headed to an international court of arbitration, the Venezuelan oil minister said there's nothing left to offer.

The International Chamber of Commerce last week ordered Venezuela's state-controlled oil producer Petroleos de Venezuela to pay Exxon about $747 million for the 2007 seizure of oil wells in the country. That's only around 10 percent of what the company wanted, however, and Exxon said it would take the matter up with the World Bank next month.

Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said his country wouldn't respect any decision regarding pending matters before the World Bank.

"There is nothing else to award; everything has been judged in the case of Exxon," he was quoted by news agency El Universal as saying.

The Venezuelan government in 2007 ordered international oil companies to transform their production agreements into ones that made them minority shareholders with PDVSA in the country's oil-rich Orinoco Belt.

A joint venture between Russian energy company TNK-BP and Petroleos de Venezuela announced Wednesday they aim to increase oil production in Venezuela by 20 percent to 145,000 barrels per day in 2013.

A proposed January 2011 deal between BP and Rosneft for work in the arctic collapsed after TNK-BP said the proposal violated terms of its shareholder agreement with BP. Rosneft later landed a similar deal with U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil.

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