PDVSA Preparing to Proceed with ENI Case

Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA is preparing to address Italian oil company ENI's (NYSE: E) case against the Venezuelan government over a hydrocarbons concession dispute, PDVSA president and energy and oil minister Rafael Ramirez said in Caracas.

"We have to designate a person for the arbitrage," Ramirez told reporters.

The case involves the Dacion field dispute. ENI refused to sign a JV with PDVSA for Dacion because it disagreed with the terms, leading the state oil company to seize operations.

ENI filed the case with the World Bank's (WB) arbitration center ICSID.

The minister stressed that two companies in a situation similar to ENI, France's Total (NYSE: TOT) and the UK's BP (NYSE: BP), accepted US$250mn in crude in exchange for handing over their oilfield and forfeiting litigation.

ENI, Total and BP all declined to have their oilfield operating service contracts turned into partnerships in PDVSA-dominated joint ventures.

ICSID (International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes) provides facilities for conciliation and arbitration of disputes between member countries and investors.

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