Experts: Exxon case has to be addressed in the ICSID

El Universal, Venezuela

Experts: Exxon case has to be addressed in the ICSID

8 April 2008

While it is a US company, Exxon Mobil is entitled to invoke protection under the Netherlands-Venezuela Investment Promotion and Protection Convention, which guarantees resolution of Exxon Mobil’s dispute with Venezuela in the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

The company Exxon Mobil organized to enter into a partnership with Venezuela’s Pdvsa to develop Cerro Negro project (Mobil-Cerro Negro) is domiciled in the Netherlands, and this country is protected by the abovementioned convention, which became effective in August 1993.

This was the explanation provided by the experts daily newspaper El Universal interviewed in connection with Energy and Petroleum Rafael Ramírez’s statements claiming that such agreement has distorted the judicial process pending between Pdvsa and Exxon Mobil.

"(The convention) masks unreal things. The largest investment in the country is Dutch, not because the companies come from the Netherlands, but because the corporations are registered as Dutch. This results in distortion. Exxon, Italian Eni appear as Dutch firms. We are assessing this subject matter because they are misusing this modality," Ramírez said in a television show.

Under such convention, Venezuela should have accepted the arbitration of ICSID where, according to President Hugo Chávez, Venezuela always loses.