March 31, 2011 / 3:29 PM / 8 years ago

Venezuela sees max $2.5 billion arbitration bill

Venezuela's Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez claps after he addressed the National Assembly in Caracas February 17, 2011, to present his annual report for 2010. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela calculates it will pay no more than $2.5 billion to Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N) in looming arbitration rulings over oil nationalizations, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said.

Venezuela also expects oil prices to remain unstable because Western military intervention in Libya has raised the possibility of conflict spreading in North Africa, the OPEC member’s minister said in an interview for the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit.

He said the earthquake and nuclear and crisis in Japan were adding further uncertainty to the market and that Venezuela should be seen as a reliable supplier.

State oil company PDVSA aims to increase exports to China to 600,000 barrels per day this year, from 470,000 bpd currently, he added.

The company has no immediate plans to sell more debt on the global capital markets, he said.

Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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