WASHINGTON — A World Bank arbitration panel has determined that Venezuela will not have to pay $1.4 billion to Exxon Mobil Corp. for confiscating company assets during a wave of nationalizations.
The Washington-based panel issued a ruling that annulled most of the $1.6 billion judgment against Venezuela. The decision was celebrated in Caracas, where the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro is facing a cash shortfall triggered by collapsing oil production.
Exxon Mobil had asked the bank's investment dispute panel for $16.6 billion for the seizure of its Cerro Negro facilities in the Orinoco Basin under then-President Hugo Chavez.
A lawyer for Venezuela said Friday that the decision was "correct and courageous."
An Exxon Mobil spokesman said the panel affirmed an award of $180 million plus interest related to the expropriation of some assets. He said the company was evaluating the panel's overall decision to determine its next steps.