PDVSA ordered to pay Conoco $2 bln for breaking Venezuela contracts -arbitration

-arbitration@

HOUSTON, April 25 (Reuters) - An international arbitration court has ordered Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA to pay ConocoPhillips $2.04 billion for early dissolution of two joint ventures for producing oil in the OPEC-member country, the U.S. firm said on Wednesday.

Conoco's assets in Venezuela were expropriated in 2007 following the nationalization of the country's oil industry. The firm left the OPEC-member nation after it could not negotiate a deal to convert its projects into joint ventures controlled by PDVSA.

The arbitration decision, released by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), is a first step in a series of legal actions taken by Conoco to receive compensation for its assets in Venezuela. A separate arbitration before a World Bank tribunal is still pending. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by David Gregorio)