Venezuela's Guaido to seek to annul $8.7 billion Conoco award

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CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido will seek to annul an $8.7 billion arbitration award to U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips as he moves to preserve foreign assets, Guaido’s chief legal representative said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Logos of ConocoPhillips are seen in its booth at Gastech, the world’s biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

If accepted, the annulment request would halt enforcement of the award over the 2007 loss of Conoco’s projects in the South American country. It would follow a March decision by the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to impose the largest arbitration award against Venezuela.

Jose Ignacio Hernandez, who Guaido has tapped as a special prosecutor, told Reuters his team separately has challenged the amount of the ICSID award, claiming “the methodology to determine the compensation was errant.”

Conoco would see no merit in a request for “annulment or rectification” and would “strongly defend” against such requests, company spokesman Daren Beaudo said.

George Kahale, a U.S. attorney who represented the Venezuelan government before the World Bank tribunal, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Venezuela’s information ministry also had no