Really? The Exxon-Venezuela arbitration case has already had its hearing, and a decision is expected by year-end? I did not know that.
ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, the majority partners in the Cerro Negro and Petrozuata projects, respectively, have failed to reach a financial agreement with PDVSA regarding the required sale of their ownership interests. As a result, an ExxonMobil affiliate filed a request for arbitration with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID, because of its having been unable to successfully negotiate the terms of, or agree on the value of, the assets in the Cerro Negro project being transferred to the Republic. Prior to the enactment of the law-decree, ExxonMobil had a 41.7% interest in the Cerro Negro project. On January 25, 2008 the ExxonMobil affiliate commenced an additional arbitration under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce.
On December 27, 2007 and January 8, 2008 the ExxonMobil affiliate obtained from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York an attachment order totaling U.S.$315 million against accounts of a PDVSA affiliate and on January 25, 2008 the ExxonMobil affiliate obtained a freezing injunction from the High Court of Justice in London preventing the removal or non-ordinary course disposition of up to U.S.$12.0 billion in assets of PDVSA and its affiliates in the United Kingdom and the non-ordinary course disposition of up to that amount of assets elsewhere in the world. On March 18, 2008, the High Court of Justice in London lifted the U.S.$12.0 billion freeze order. A court in the Netherlands has issued an order relating to the freezing of certain PDVSA assets in the Netherlands and in the Netherlands Antilles. On June 10, 2010, the ICSID tribunal ruled on the first phase of the case, which focused solely on jurisdictional issues and not on the merits of the claims nor the damages. According to the decision, the ICSID tribunal has jurisdiction only over disputes that occurred after February 2006. in October 2010, ExxonMobil reduced the amount it was seeking through international arbitration from U.S.$12.0 billion to U.S.$7.0 billion plus interest. The hearing on all issues in the arbitration concluded on September 24, 2010. It is expected that a decision will be rendered in 2011.