An international arbitration panel has ordered Venezuela to pay oil giant Exxon Mobil $908 million in a contractual dispute – less than 10 percent of what the company sought for the country nationalizing its assets.
Exxon Mobil had sought $7 billion in its arbitration claim filed four years ago for the Cerro Negro project in the Orinoco oil belt that President Hugo Chávez nationalized.
He also ordered the state-run Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. oil company to take over three other oil venture projects in the same area run by foreign companies. Those arbitration claims are pending.
Chávez has been criticized for waging government control over Venezuela’s oil industry because his efforts have made some investors reluctant to do business there.