CARACAS – State energy giant Petroleos de Venezuela SA will pay U.S. natural gas companies Williams Cos Inc. and Exterran Holdings Inc. a total of $420 million for assets nationalized in 2009, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said.
With this payment “they will drop the arbitration” they were setting up with the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes and will relinquish the $1.2 billion in compensation they initially requested, Ramirez, who is also PDVSA’s president, said in a statement to reporters.
“In concluding this operation, both PDVSA and Venezuela have shown themselves open to reaching friendly accords with foreign investors disposed to accept fair compensation in cases of nationalization,” PDVSA said in a communique.
The statement from PDVSA added that the compensation for the transfer of assets, including natural gas injection facilities, “will be paid, as in recent accords, 40 percent in cash and the remainder in equal installments over a 4-year period.”
The agreement with Williams and Exterran follows the payment made on Feb. 15 of the $250 million that the International Chamber of Commerce, or ICC, in Paris fixed as compensation for the 2006 nationalization of the assets of U.S. oil supermajor Exxon Mobil in the South American nation.