HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips (COP.N) is still awaiting payment from Venezuela on a $2 billion arbitration settlement reached last month with the country’s state-run PDVSA, Chief Executive Ryan Lance said on Wednesday.
Conoco last month suspended legal attachments efforts that had cut Venezuela’s oil exports from several Caribbean facilities following a deal that allowed the country 90 days to make an initial $500 million payment.
“I’ll count the money when it shows up in the bank,” Lance said on Wednesday at a Barclays energy conference in New York, in response to a question on how the company plans to use the settlement.
Lance said he expects Venezuela will honor the agreement, noting the company still has another two arbitration decisions involving Venezuela ahead of it. But Conoco would resume its legal efforts if the payments were not forthcoming, he said.
The deal stems from the nationalization of Conoco assets dating back over a decade in Venezuela. An international court in April ruled in favor of Conoco and ordered PDVSA to pay the $2 billion. Conoco began seizing PDVSA’s Caribbean assets earlier this year to enforce its claim.
Conoco’s seizures in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and St. Eustatius had prevented PDVSA from using several terminals and export operations. Under terms of the agreement, Venezuela must pay $500 million by late November and the remaining $1.5 billion over the next 4-1/2 years.
Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas