Venezuela owes Conoco Phillips $8.7 billion for taking of assets by the socialist government

Fuel Fix:
Financially struggling Venezuela must pay Houston's ConocoPhillips $8.7 billion for the government's expropriation of the company's investments in Venezuela more than a decade ago, a legal dispute arm of the World Bank ruled Friday.

The new tribunal ruling keeps a focus on Houston-based Citgo Petroleum, the multibillion-dollar U.S.-based refining arm of Venezuela. Citgo is considered the top prize for companies that Venezuela owes billions of dollars if the country can't afford to pay in cash installments.

The new ruling is even more troubling news for the socialist nation that's already undergoing a geopolitical and financial crisis, as well as a fight over the nation's leadership with President Nicolás Maduro being challenged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who's declared himself as interim president. A massive power outage even swept across much of Venezuela on Thursday.

And Venezuela, an oil-rich nation, is producing just more than 1 million barrels of crude a day, the lowest volumes in roughly three decades.

The World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes previously ruled in ConocoPhillips' favor in 2013, but the financial award of $8.7 billion wasn't determined until Friday.
However, it will be much harder for Venezuela to pay the newer and larger penalties in cash, even on a delayed payment system. And that's where assets like Citgo come into play. Other companies also are seeking penalty payments from Venezuela, so there are no simple legal answers. And Russia's Rosneft holds a lien over Citgo as collateral for its loans to Venezuela's state oil company.
The socialists of Venezuela are running out of other people's money.  Whether ConocoPhillips would have to deal with the Russian lean on Citgo assets should be an interesting question.  It would be in the US's interest to see Citgo not owned by Russia or Venezuela. 

The socialist country operated for a few years by its expropriation of the assets of businesses like ConocoPhillips.  They pretty much squandered those resources by selling the oil at none market rates to other socialist countries like Cuba and Nicaragua. 

They also engaged in vote buying schemes within Venezuela until they ran out of money.  Another mistake they made was attempting to repeal the laws of supply and demand leading them to not be able to supply basic goods to the people.


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