CARACAS May 6 A World Bank panel said on
Tuesday it has rejected Venezuela's request to change the
arbitrators reviewing a dispute over compensation sought by U.S.
oil company ConocoPhillips for 2007 expropriations.
The International Centre for Resolution of Investment
Disputes, or ICSID, in March shot down Venezuela's appeal for a
new hearing to contest a 2013 partial ruling that it failed to
act in good faith in compensation negotiations with Conoco.
The dispute dates from then-President Hugo Chavez's
socialist government's takeover of oil projects in 2007
including two multi-billion dollar heavy oil operations in the
vast Orinoco Belt.
Venezuela had sought to remove Kenneth Keith and L. Yves
Fortier from the panel hearing the case, complaining of their
"general negative attitude" and "propensity to decide
by 'sheer fiat.'"
Conoco said the request constituted "meritless and desperate
delaying tactics by Venezuela."
Despite formally withdrawing from ICSID in 2013, Venezuela
still faces about 20 claims stemming largely from compensation
disputes over the late Chavez's wave of nationalizations.
(Reporting by Diego Ore, writing Brian Ellsworth; Editing by