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Many ADR Arbitration Claims Pending in Venezuela

Thursday, September, 29, 2011


ADR arbitration, or alternative dispute resolution arbitration, is a strategy for settling differences that can sometimes involve more than one nation.  Such is the case with pending arbitration cases involving the Venezuelan government and oil companies such as ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil, both of whom reportedly have requested arbitration so they can receive compensation for oil projects that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez nationalized several years ago.

 

Rafael Ramirez, the current Oil Minister for the South American nation, contends that the claims are outrageous and represent sums far in excess of anything that might actually be owed.  Speaking to reporters, he characterized the corporations involved as "typical companies from the empire" and denied the suggestion that the Chavez government might reach a settlement with the oil companies.

 

More than a Dozen ADR Arbitration Claims

 

At the moment, Venezuela must contend with as many as 17 investment arbitration cases.  These are being handled by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.  Oil companies are claiming billions in damages; much of it caused by the loss of property they sustained when Chavez shifted the Venezuelan oil industry to the direct control of the state and disallowed the free market to continue operation.

 

Even in the light of a decision by the ICSID, Ramirez remained defiant, saying that the Chavez administration would not be punished by an international court.