A foreign oil company had major oil fields seized by the government and brought a case against that government at the World Bank’s ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes). The central issue was the valuation of the seized oil fields: the corporate plaintiff assessed the value at many multiples of what the government claimed.
Expropriated Oil Fields in South America
We found evidence that the government was using those seized oil fields as collateral for a large loan from another government. In those loan negotiations, the ICSID defendant had given a valuation of the oil fields that was in line with the plaintiff’s. Furthermore, we found evidence that the binational loan agreement being negotiated had a financial vehicle for large-scale corruption.
A renowned investigative journalist with a long trajectory on writing on Latin American politics and corruption took up the case, corroborated with other sources and experts, and published the story in a major newspaper in both English and Spanish. The plaintiff won the ICSID case and is collecting its US$ 2 billion from the defendant country.
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