ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., ConocoPhillips Hamaca B.V. and ConocoPhillips Gulf of Paria B.V. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/30, Decision on Jurisdiction and Merits (September 3, 2013)
1. This case concerns a dispute submitted to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID” or the “Centre”) on the basis of (a) the Venezuelan Law on the Promotion and Protection of Investments (Decreto con Rango y Fuerza de Ley de Promoción y Protección de Inversiones) published on 22 October 1999 (the “Investment Law”);1 and (b) the Agreement on Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Venezuela signed on 22 October 1991 (the “BIT” or the “Treaty”),2 and the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States, dated 18 March 1965 (the “ICSID Convention”).
2. The dispute concerns the interests of Claimants in two extra-heavy oil projects located in the region in Venezuela known as the Orinoco Oil Belt (Faja Petrolífera del Orinoco) — the “Petrozuata Project” and the “Hamaca Project”, and in an offshore project for the extract of light to medium crude oil — the “Corocoro Project”.
3. The Petrozuata Project was conducted through the Petrozuata Association, which was granted the rights to engage in the exploration, development, production, exploitation, transportation and upgrading of extra-heavy crude oil, and the marketing of the resulting crude oils and products, in the Zuata area of the Orinoco Oil Belt.3
4. The Hamaca Project was conducted through the Hamaca Association, which held the rights to engage in the exploration, development, production, exploitation, blending, industrialisation, transportation, refining and upgrading and commercialisation of extra-heavy crude oil, and the transportation and use or disposal of by-products, in the Hamaca area of the Orinoco Oil Belt.4