New York Times

January 10, 2012

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) — President Hugo Chávez said on Sunday that Venezuela would not recognize a ruling by a World Bank panel in a multibillion-dollar arbitration case with the Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Exxon took Venezuela to the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, seeking as much as $12 billion in compensation after Mr. Chávez ordered the nationalization of the Cerro Negro oil project in 2007.

“I tell you now, we will not recognize any decision” by the center, Mr. Chávez said during a televised speech. He has repeatedly accused the United States oil major of using unfair deals in the past to “rob” Venezuela, an OPEC member, of its resources.

“They are trying the impossible: to get us to pay them,” he said. “We are not going to pay them anything.”

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