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ConocoPhillips may be looking for a new way to solve an old problem: how to collect billions of dollars it is owed in Venezuela stemming from the nationalization of its assets in the country in 2007. The key for the US firm is a recent shift in US sanctions policy toward Venezuela that has allowed Chevron to collect on its debts by marketing Venezuelan crude in the US. The Wall Street Journal reported that Conoco was in talks with US and Venezuelan authorities and was open to marketing PDVSA’s crude in the US to allow the state oil firm to chip away at its outstanding bill. Conoco has spent years pursuing compensation for the 2007 nationalization of its Petrozuata and Hamaca oil assets. The independent soon after opted to pull out of its operations in Venezuela altogether, while others, including Chevron, stayed under new terms imposed by then-President Hugo Chavez. ConocoPhillips has since won multiple arbitration judgements in its favor, notably a 2019 ruling for $8.7 billion at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. That ruling was upheld by a US court in August. However, ConocoPhillips has had scant success getting its claims paid due to Venezuela’s dire economic conditions.

Corporate Strategy , Sanctions
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