CARACAS, July 8 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s request to review a $46 million compensation claim it has been ordered to pay to oil service company Tidewater was rejected and the stay on the award’s execution lifted, a World Bank tribunal said in a decision posted on its website on Wednesday.The South American OPEC country had sought a revision “based on what it describes as an error in the tribunal’s damages calculation,” an International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes’ (ICSID) tribunal said in its decision.
In its rejection, the tribunal said the award had “taken into account the totality of the evidence presented to it in determining the appropriate level of compensation to be awarded, based upon a discounted cash flow analysis.”
The award includes around $44 million in owed invoices. Venezuela’s oil minister said in an interview in March: “We will pay what we have to pay,” though he said he hoped to get the amount reduced.
Tidewater and the Venezuelan government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Late socialist leader Hugo Chavez seized 11 Tidewater ships in 2009 after signing a law to nationalize them, according to Tidewater.
Venezuela faces close to 20 claims at ICSID that mostly stem from state takeovers during Chavez’s 14-year rule, with several awards being decided in the last year.
The cash-strapped country has sought revisions or annulments, as well as recusal of arbitrators, in some of these cases amid a tumble in oil prices and a severe recession.
Several of these motions have been turned down in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, for instance, the ICSID Administrative Council rejected Venezuela’s request to recuse two arbitrators in a dispute with U.S. oil firm ConocoPhillips, describing Venezuela’s complaints as “unsubstantiated” and “irrelevant.” (Reporting by Eyanir Chinea and Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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