NEW YORK -- A World Bank arbitration panel suspended enforcement of a $1.6 billion judgment against Venezuela over its takeover of an ExxonMobil (IW 500/1) oil project after Caracas asked for a revision to the award.
The stay halts enforcement of an October 9 decision by the Washington-based International Centre For Settlement of Investment Disputes that ruled Venezuela must pay the oil giant for seizing control of the project in 2007.
"The Secretary-General registers an application for revision of the award filed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and notifies the parties of the provisional stay of enforcement of the award," ICSID said in an October 24 notice.
Exxon has sought some $12 billion in compensation over the loss of what it had already invested and what it expected to reap from the Cerro Negro project in a heavy oil region known as the Orinoco Belt.
In the October 9 ruling, a three-member ICSID arbitration panel rejected Exxon's arguments that Venezuela's taking of the Orinoco property represented an illegal expropriation.
However, the panel said the award was warranted as "just compensation" under an international investment treaty signed by Venezuela.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014