ConocoPhillips Squeeze: Trinidad Court Reportedly OKs $1.3B Claim Against Venezuela

Zinger Key Points
  • Trinidad and Tobago court grants ConocoPhillips the right to enforce a $1.33 billion claim against Venezuela.
  • This allows ConocoPhillips to seize compensation owed to Venezuela from joint gas projects with Trinidad.

ConocoPhillips COP has reportedly been granted the right by a Trinidad and Tobago court to enforce a $1.33 billion claim against Venezuela for past expropriations.

In particular, the decision gives the company the right to seize any compensation to Venezuela from joint gas projects with Trinidad, reported Reuters.

High Court Judge Frank Seepersad told Reuters, “The order gives to the claimant a green light to be able to enforce the judgment in Trinidad if they can establish there are assets held by the defendants or there is money which is owed to the defendant by entities in Trinidad and Tobago.” 

Notably, ConocoPhillips has been aiming to enforce the rulings in different courts, including in the U.S. and the Caribbean, after winning arbitration awards against Venezuela and its state oil company PDVSA.

PDVSA paid around $700 million to ConocoPhillips through a settlement agreement but stopped payments in late 2019.

ConocoPhillips is the largest claimant in a Delaware case that will auction shares in Venezuela-owned refiner Citgo Petroleum’s parent firm to pay creditors over $20 billion in compensations.

According to the report, Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips’s CEO, commented this month that the company is involved in the Citgo lawsuit “to get the money that they owe us for the judgments that we have against the Venezuelan government for the expropriation of our assets.”

As per the report, Trinidad and Tobago’s state energy firm NGC has not been served with documents related to this matter, and continues with its partners and stakeholders to progress work on a gas project.

Notably, this week, BP p.l.c. BP and NGC reportedly received a two-year license from the U.S. Treasury Department to negotiate and develop the Cocuina-Manakin gas fields with Venezuela.

Investors can gain exposure to COP via IShares U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF IEO and Westwood Salient Enhanced Energy Income ETF WEEI.

Also Read: ConocoPhillips Set For Growth With Marathon Oil Acquisition: Analysts Anticipate Accretive Financials And Enhanced Asset Base

Price Action: COP shares closed lower by 1.45% at $113.58 on Thursday.

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