UPDATE 2-U.S. judge upholds Conoco as sole owner of coker at Sweeny, Texas refinery

martes 8 de septiembre de 2015 18:51 GYT

(Adds comment from PDVSA lawyer)

HOUSTON, Sept 8 (Reuters) - A federal court in New York has upheld a ruling granting U.S. oil and gas company ConocoPhillips sole ownership of a unit at the Sweeny, Texas refinery in a long-running dispute over the asset with Venezuela's PDVSA.

In 2014, an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration panel awarded ConocoPhillips full ownership of Merey Sweeny LP, a delayed coking unit at its 247,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Sweeny refinery. PDVSA had asked that the decision be vacated.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, in a decision signed last week, wrote that PDVSA's request was baseless and confirmed Conoco was the sole owner of the unit, which processes heavy crude oil.

Conoco and PDVSA formed a joint venture in the late 1990s to run the refining unit. But they went to arbitration before the ICC in 2010 after crude supply interruptions that triggered a contract provision dissolving the pact.

Phillips 66 has owned and operated the delayed coker and related facilities at the Sweeny refinery since it was spun off from Conoco in 2012.

A Phillips 66 spokesman confirmed PDVSA is entitled to appeal the decision within 30 days.

PDVSA's lawyer George Kahale of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, said in an e-mail on Tuesday: "We think the decision is incorrect and will be filing a notice of appeal shortly."