Posts Tagged ‘Exxon Mobil’

Venezuela to appeal ICSID Exxon decision

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Living up to its reputation as possibly the world’s worst-managed economy, the Venezuela government is appealing the US$1.6billion settlement against Exxon by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID.

Just to put things in perspective,

Exxon had originally wanted $20 billion out of the deal; arbitrators awarded it just $1.6 billion, $600 million of which had already been paid.

The country must honor ICSID rulings to avoid default of sovereign bonds; by having the ICSID provisionally stay the enforcement of the award, Venezuela buys time.

Francisco Toro speculates,

One of two things is going on here. Either the super-fancy and well-worth-top-dollar New York Law Firm representing Venezuela at ICSID, Curtis Mallet-Prevost, has persuaded Ramírez they can get an even better settlement on appeal or the government is now so strapped for cash they’re willing to try any delaying tactic to avoid having to pay up right away.

I don’t know which one it is.

I don’t either, and considering how Nicolas Maduro opened his campaign by saying he talked to Chavez, who is now a bird , maybe he (and his cohorts) went by Chavez’s 2012 promise that Venezuela will not recognize World Bank ruling in the Exxon case.

All you can be sure of is that law firm Curtis Mallet-Prevost will make money out of this, and, as I said last month, that Venezuela has no intention to pay Exxon.

Venezuela: Exxon wins $1.6 billion settlement

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Back in 2005, then-dictator Hugo Chavez started to expropriate assets in Venezuela’s energy, mining and telecommunications industries under the pretext of development and sovereignty.

Energy companies were given until late-2007 to accept proposed contract and compensation terms from Chavez’s government or risk having their assets seized.•

Exxon and ConocoPhillips rejected the terms, and Exxon took Venezuela to the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID. The ICSID ruled for Exxon, which Chavez promptly, and predictably, rejected. At the time there were 20 other cases against Venezuela at the World Bank’s tribunal, all triggered by the wave of state takeovers.

Now Exxon Wins $1.6 Billion Settlement for Venezuela Seizure

The ICSID award includes $1.4 billion for expropriation of the Cerro Negro project, $179.3 million for expropriation of the smaller La Ceiba project and $9 million in compensation for production and export curtailments, ICSID said. It will incur compound interest of 3.25 percent dating back to June 2007.

In a similar complaint, the ICSID ruled Sept. 23 that Venezuela must pay $740 million to Spokane, Washington-based Gold Reserve Inc. (GRZ) for taking its Brisas gold and copper project in 2008. Gold Reserve said on July 23 that it was seeking $2.1 billion for the nationalization.

About 28 cases filed by mining and oil companies remain unresolved at the ICSID, including those filed by Phillips 66 and Highbury International AVV.

Venezuela calls it “a favorable end for the republic,” (h/t Caracas Chronicles)

Which tells you Venezuela has no intention to pay Exxon. The thing is, the country must honor ICSID rulings to avoid default of sovereign bonds. The only certain outcome in the short term is that a lot of lawyers are going to make a lot of money.

Just don’t expect any payments any time soon.

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Argentine Leader Is Told Thyroid Was Cancer-Free

The justice system in Bolivia
Rough justice
The wrong way to reform the courts

Odd Coincidence: Soros-Affiliated Brazilian Company Looks to Win Major DOD Contract Over U.S. Competition

Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported

Cuban political prisoner Ernesto Borges starts hunger strike to demand medical care

2011, That Year So Remote

Castro dictatorship unleashes another wave of repression

Haitians in Brazil

Jamaica’s election
Go, sista
Sodom and Mrs Simpson Miller

Iran seeking to expand influence in Latin America

Iran in Mexico and the Caribbean: Building a Strategic Trampoline towards the US

Press censorship makes a comeback in Latin America

In Mexico, 12,000 killed in drug violence in 2011

Mexicans confront racism with white, black doll video via GoV.

Suspended Mexican soccer goalie detained in kidnap

On Extraditions and Colombian-Panamanian Ties

Van der Sloot Trial Begins Friday in Peru

Court temporarily bars construction along Puerto Rican coastal strip

Venezuela will not recognize World Bank ruling in Exxon case
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday that his country would not recognize any ruling by a World Bank tribunal in a multibillion-dollar arbitration case with Exxon Mobil Corp.

Chavez at our Lady of Coromoto: an essay on the grotesque, part 1
Chavez at our Lady of Coromoto: an essay on moral turpitude, part 2

ExxonMobil Versus PDVSA: Arbitration and Numbers, and What the ExxonMobil Versus PDVSA Decision Means For The Country’s Bonds

Appointments Unsettle State of Venezuelan Politics

Venezuelan General Consul in Miami declared persona non grata by State Dept.

The week’s posts,
Ahmadinejad is in Venezuela
Jakadrien Turner: Deported Texas Teen Returns to U.S. …from Colombia
The Grand Warlock predicts O will lose
Mexican cartels and the border traffic
Another day, another rumor about Fidel’s death


What do you mean “seen”, kimo sabe?

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

The WSJournal has the understatement of the week,
Venezuela Seen Getting Off ‘Lightly’ In $908 Million Exxon Payment

An international arbitration panel awarded U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp. about $908 million in a verdict over oil assets nationalized by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2007, the company said late Saturday.

The payout is substantially lower than the $7 billion that Exxon was seeking in restitution and is likely to be a boon for Venezuela’s defiant leftist government, which in recent years has embarked on a widespread nationalization campaign to centralize control over key economic sectors.

“It’s a nice Christmas present for Chavez and Venezuela,” said Russ Dallen, an analyst and bond trader at local investment bank Caracas Capital Markets.

Sure is – it’s less than 13 cents on the dollar. Exxon gets robbed.

If you have any illusions that the Chávez regime will put any of this to good use, check out Venezuela News and Views (my translation)

¿Sera que no alegraremos que Venezuela vaya a pagar menos por las fechorías de Hugo? ¡Para nada! Eso es mas plata que ellos se van a poder robar, o repartir para comprar votos (después de cobrar la comisión adecuada por comprar y repartir linea blanca).

Will we be rejoicing that Venezuela will pay less for Hugo’s villainies? No way! That’s just more money they’ll steal, or spread around to buy votes (after collecting the sufficient commission to buy and share a white line).

Makes you wonder what was in it for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitrators, doesn’t it?

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean will be up later today.


Begging after biting the hand that feeds him

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

So you’re a petty tyrant who fires the skilled labor in the country’s #1 industry, which accounts for 92% of your country’s export revenues, nationalize the industry, and bring down oil production to – at best – two thirds of what it used to be and have to buy oil from the Russians to meet your commitments.

You bring your country thisclose to ruin. The Economist ranks your country’s business environment third from the bottom.

What’s a guy to do?

Chávez reopens oil bids to West as prices plunge

President Hugo Chávez, buffeted by falling oil prices that threaten to damage his efforts to establish a Socialist-inspired state, is quietly courting Western oil companies once again.

Until recently, Chávez had pushed foreign oil companies here into a corner by nationalizing their oil fields, raiding their offices with tax authorities and imposing a series of royalties increases.

But faced with the plunge in prices and a decline in domestic production, senior officials here have begun soliciting bids from some of the largest Western oil companies in recent weeks — including Chevron, Royal Dutch/Shell and Total of France — promising them access to some of the world’s largest petroleum reserves, according to energy executives and industry consultants here.

The Chinese & Iranians weren’t working out as expected, particularly since Chavez reneged on deals:

In recent years, Chávez has preferred partnerships with national oil companies from countries like Iran, China and Belarus. But these ventures failed to reverse Venezuela’s declining oil output. State-controlled oil companies from other nations have also been invited to bid this time, but the large private companies are seen as having an advantage, given their expertise in building complex projects in Venezuela and elsewhere in years past.

The bidding process was first conceived last year when oil prices were higher but Petróleos de Venezuela’s production decline was getting impossible to overlook. Still, the process is moving into high gear only this month, with the authorities here expected to start reviewing the companies’ bidding plans on new areas of the Orinoco Belt, an area in southern Venezuela with an estimated 235 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Altogether, more than $20 billion in investment could be required to assemble devilishly complex projects capable of producing a combined 1.2 million barrels of oil a day.

Eating crow for more pitiyanki money, that Hugo:

Chávez’s olive branch to Western oil companies comes after he nationalized their oil fields in 2007. Two companies, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips, left Venezuela and are still waging legal battles over lost projects.

The IHT article also explains some of PDVSA’s other messes:

In the past year, with higher oil prices paving the way, Chávez also vastly expanded Petróleos de Venezuela’s power, inextricably linking it to his political program. He directed the oil company to build roads, import and distribute food, build docks and shipyards and set up a light-bulb factory. He even expanded it into areas like milk production, soybean farming and the training of athletes after a weak performance at the Beijing Olympics.

One of the oil company’s ventures sells subsidized food and extols Chávez’s leadership at its stores across Venezuela. At one frenzied store in eastern Caracas, posters hung from the ceiling last Saturday showing Chávez arm in arm with children beneath the heading, “fortifying agrarian socialism.”

Petróleos de Venezuela has also carried out nationalizations in other industries, absorbing companies like Electricidad de Caracas, the utility serving this city of five million. Top executives like Eulogio del Pino, the Stanford-educated vice president of exploration and production, spent much of 2008 negotiating unfinished deals like the takeover of a cement company.

Ed notes,

Western oil companies would have to lose their collective minds to invest in Venezuela again, because Chavez simply can’t be trusted. As one source within the Venezuelan oil ministry reminds IHT, Chavez wound up screwing his partners in China, Iran, and Belarus by changing his mind on oil projects and shutting them down after they spent millions on start-ups. No oil project in ten years has reached completion, thanks to Chavez’ caprice. Besides, Chavez still owes two Western oil companies for the nationalization of their assets in 2007, and nothing would stop Chavez from doing it all over again.

As of the writing of this post, Texas crude was trading at $35.50/barrel.

Don’t expect Chavez to leave any time soon:
Venezuela’s national assembly has approved a constitutional amendment to remove presidential term limits

The amendment, which applies to all elected officials, must be approved by a referendum within 30 days, a vote correspondents say is set to be close.

According to Daimnation,

Halliburton, probably the left’s most hated capitalist villain, has prospered in Venezuela precisely because of Hugo Chavez’s policies. There is a God, and he’s a major shareholder.

I’ll have to do some research on that & get back to you. Simon Romero explains

Moreover, foreign oil services companies like Halliburton, which has done business in Venezuela for 70 years, have even expanded their activities in the country as Petróleos de Venezuela grew more dependent on contractors to help extract oil from aging wells.

Romero also quotes,

“An agreement on a piece of paper means nothing in Venezuela because of the way Chávez abruptly changes the rules of the game,” said a Venezuelan oil executive who has had dealings with oil companies from China, Russia and other countries.

“In 10 years, not one major oil project has been built in Venezuela,” said the oilman, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. “Chávez has left his so-called strategic partners out to dry, like the Chinese, who have been given the same treatment as Exxon.”


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