San Francisco: Venezuela will try to have an arbitrator’s $46m compensation ruling reduced, even though it feels vindicated by the relatively moderate size of the award, an official said on Thursday.
The South American Opec nation was ordered to pay the amount to US oil service company Tidewater in a Monday ruling of a case relating to the government’s nationalizing of Tidewater assets, namely eleven vessels seized by the state in 2009.
The award, which was ordered by the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), included $44 million in owed invoices.
On Thursday oil minister Asdrubal Chavez said: “We will pay what we have to pay, although there is always the possibility of an appeal. We are going to continue working because this is an amount that we can still reduce.”
The lawyer representing Venezuela, George Kahale, said the award was significantly lower than what Tidewater had claimed because ICSID “found that the nationalization was lawful”.
Venezuela faces close to 20 claims at ICSID that mostly stem from state takeovers during Chavez’s 14-year rule.