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World Bank tribunal rejects Venezuela’s attempt to reduce Tidewater compensation award

A World Bank tribunal has rejected an attempt by Venezuela to reduce a $46m compensation award in favour of New Orleans-based offshore supply vessel operator Tidewater.

The original award by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes’ (ICSID) related to the 2009 seizure of 11 Tidewater ships by Venezuela after the regime of late ruler Hugo Chavez passed a law to nationalize them.

This is one of several similar state-takeover cases against the South American country, which has seen its once vibrant economy undercut by the plunge in oil prices.

Its legal tactic has been to seek revisions or annulments, as well as recusal of arbitrators, but most such motions have been turned down.

In the Tidewater case Venezuela sought a revision of the compensation amount based on what it said was an error in the tribunal’s damages calculation. But the tribunal flatly rejected that notion.

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