Published On: Sat, May 19th, 2018

Seizure of ConocoPhillips on Venezuelan oil possessions in Dutch Caribbean islands lifted

courtWILLEMSTAD - Judges in Curaçao and Bonaire have determined that the seizure of the American company ConocoPhilips on Venezuelan oil possessions on the islands must be lifted.

According to the court, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PdVSA must start supplying oil to the islands again.

This seems to end an imminent oil crisis in Curaçao and Bonaire. On May 4, ConocoPhillips seized several companies that do business with PdVSA in an attempt to collect an outstanding debt of 2 billion dollars from PdVSA.

PdVSA decided not to deliver oil to the islands.

Both the court in Curaçao and in Bonaire have decided that the seizures must be lifted to the extent that this is necessary for the fuel and electricity supply on both islands.

The judges have considered in their judgment that ConocoPhillips has a legitimate interest in securing its claim on PdVSA as much as possible, but "that a commercial dispute between these two companies does not justify the risk of a society as a whole being disrupted as a result of a shortage to fuel and electricity".

The conflict between the two companies has been playing for some time, but recently the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce decided that ConocoPhillips can claim two billion dollars. That amount is to compensate for a forced nationalization of two oil projects of the company in Venezuela in 2007.

Whether the seizure of the possessions in St. Eustatius is also lifted is not known.

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