Official: ENI to Take PDVSA Oil Field Dispute to Arbitration

Italian power company ENI (NYSE: E) aims to take Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) over the Dacion field dispute.

French firm Total (NYSE: TOT) and ENI refused to sign JVs with PDVSA for their Jusepin and Dacion fields, respectively, because they disagreed with the terms, leading PDVSA to seize operations of the fields.

"This is very new, very recent," an ENI official in Caracas told BNamericas about the legal move, adding the company had not yet heard from PDVSA. The official could not specify what ENI would seek in court.

But ENI still is willing to negotiate a solution, the company previously said in a statement.

PDVSA officially has not heard from ENI or ICSID about the case, a company lawyer said on the condition of anonymity, adding that PDVSA believes the issue should be decided in Venezuelan courts.

Venezuela's government has forced foreign and domestic companies operating oil fields for PDVSA to rescind their contracts and enter PDVSA-dominated joint ventures.

As a result, PDVSA must hold at least 60% of the JVs.

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