WASHINGTON - A World Bank arbitration panel has determined that Venezuela will not have to pay $1.4 billion to ExxonMobil for confiscating company assets during a wave of nationalizations.
ExxonMobil asked the bank's investment dispute panel for $12 billion for the seizure of its Cerro Negro facilities in the Orinoco Basin under then-President Hugo Chavez. The panel awarded $1.4 billion, a decision that was appealed by Venezuela.
The Washington-based panel issued a ruling Friday that annulled most of a $1.6 million judgment against Venezuela. The decision was celebrated in Caracas, where the socialist government is facing a cash shortfall triggered by collapsing oil production in recent years.
A lawyer for Venezuela said the decision as "correct and courageous."
ExxonMobil did not immediately respond to a request for comment.