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Venezuela Ordered to Pay ExxonMobil in Assets Dispute

Venezuela's state-owned oil firm says it will pay U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil $255 million in compensation for nationalized assets - less than one-third of what the U.S. company said it was awarded by an arbitration panel.

Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, said Monday that the money will be paid to the U.S. firm within 60 days. PDVSA also said it will be deducting certain debts owed by Exxon from the original award of $907 million.

The firm also calls the decision a "successful defense," saying ExxonMobil initially demanded about $12 billion in compensation. There was no immediate comment from ExxonMobil to PDVSA's comments.

ExxonMobil sought arbitration after the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez nationalized an oil project in 2007. The company also is pressing its case before a World Bank tribunal.

President Chavez has made oil reforms the centerpiece of his plan to create a 21st century socialist revolution in Venezuela.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.