QUITO, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Ecuador will comply with a World Bank tribunal award to pay $1.061 billion to Occidental Petroleum Corp in compensation for seizing the company’s assets, the country’s finance minister said on Wednesday, adding that Ecuador would seek financing.
A decision by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) released on Monday ordered Ecuador to pay that amount, a reduction of 40 percent from the original award announced in 2012.
“As a sovereign country, we are going to comply fully with the international courts,” Finance Minister Fausto Herrera told reporters. “We are going to continue working and negotiating in order to find a means of financing these resources.”
He did not offer details.
Ecuador in 2006 seized the field known as Block 15 from Occidental, arguing the company had sold the field to China’s Andes Petroleum without government consent.
At the time of the contract termination, Occidental was Ecuador’s largest oil investor, extracting around 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
U.S.-based Occidental filed a request for arbitration in July 2006. Ecuador has 11 arbitration cases pending against it, four of them at ICSID.
The dollarized Andean country is suffering from low oil prices as well as the appreciation of the greenback, which makes its export businesses less competitive. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Brian Ellsworth and Leslie Adler)