VENEZUELA REJECTS WORLD BANK RULING ON EXPROPRIATION OF U.S OIL COMPANY
Venezuelan Oil and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez rejected a World Bank ruling against the Venezuelan government's expropriation of U.S. oil company Conoco Phillips in 2007. The ruling was made earlier Wednesday and handed down by the World Bank's arbitration court, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Ramirez, who is also president of Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA, said Venezuela will appeal the decision. "This weekend, our lawyers are going to request a new hearing... We are not going to accept in any circumstances that something that was already signed and for which a mechanism of compensation was established be now skipped," Ramirez told a press conference. "Now we'll see if the tribunal respects what was signed between PDVSA and Conoco at that time. If there was to be any kind of indemnity, it had to be capped at US$27 per barrel," he added. The minister also said the ruling means Conoco will not get US$10 billion from the Venezuelan government as compensation under an investment protection law. Ramirez said new oil contracts will not be subject to foreign arbitration as Venezuela is a sovereign country with its own laws. Conoco Phillips' operations in the Orinoco Belt in Venezuela were expropriated in 2007 as part of a government drive to nationalize the oil industry. -- NNN-XINHUA
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