* Energy minister sees compensation ruling in 2011 or 2012
* Ramirez forecasts successful conclusion for Venezuela
CARACAS, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Venezuela foresees a successful end in 2011 or 2012 to battles over “rude” compensation claims by Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N), Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Monday.
“We’ll probably have news on that in 2011-2012,” he told reporters of the U.S. majors’ demands for payment for assets nationalized by the South American nation three years ago.
“Our teams are defending the whole Republic from the rude aspirations of the transnationals. We are ready to finish this battle, I think we are going to be successful.”
Both Exxon and ConocoPhillips rejected terms and went to the World Bank’s arbitration panel when Venezuela pushed foreign firms into minority partnerships with the state at multibillion dollar projects in the Orinoco Belt crude region.
Ramirez has said in the past ConocoPhillips wanted $20 billion from President Hugo Chavez’s socialist government.
State oil company PDVSA says Exxon is claiming $7 billion. [ID:nN20245797]
“We think Exxon’s aspirations are way too high, we think it is a negotiating tactic from the lawyers who represent them,” added Ramirez, who is also the president of PDVSA.
A large compensation bill would be painful for cash-strapped PDVSA, which has suffered lower profits in the last two years and owes billions of dollars to providers. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by David Gregorio)