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ExxonMobil move against Venezuela in the British Courts ends in humiliation

Latin America Press: Venezuela defeats ExxonMobil

Noticias Aliadas.  Apr 3, 2008

The British judiciary favored Venezuela on March 18 in a trial that US oil giant ExxonMobil started against state-run Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) after a government decree emitted last year established that all contracts with foreign companies must gradually become mixed, in which the Venezuelan oil company should have a minimum 60 percent of stock.

ExxonMobil refused to reduce its share and in January opened a trial in London, where the court blocked US$12 billion in PDVSA stock and assets in order to prevent Venezuela from transferring them to a jurisdiction out of reach for the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Venezuela, along with Bolivia and Nicaragua, withdrew from ICSID last May.

British judge Paul Walker declared that the case had no relevant connection to Great Britain and that the courts in his country do not have the power to order a global freeze on PDVSA assets. He also said that the US company must pay $760,000 to PDVSA for legal costs.

ExxonMobil demands a $5 billion compensation for its assets in the Orinoco Petroleum Belt territory while Venezuela estimates its value at $1 billion. 

http://www.latinamericapress.org/article.asp?lanCode=1&artCode=5571

Headline by John Donovan of www.royaldutchshellplc.com

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