An international arbitration tribunal has decided that Venezuela must pay Exxon Mobil $1.6 billion in compensation for expropriated assets.
Exxon had claimed up to $16.6 billion over the nationalization of its Cerro Negro Project and other losses in 2007.
Venezuela has not said whether it will appeal. But the foreign minister said the decision was “reasonable”.
The ruling was made by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
It is a blow to Venezuela which is struggling with a shortage of foreign currency, inflation and a stagnating economy.
Venezuela must pay Exxon Mobil $1.6 billion in compensation for expropriated assets
Foreign minister Rafael Ramirez called it a victory for Venezuelan sovereignty over “exaggerated claims”, referring to the much higher amount indicated by the Exxon Mobil.
The Venezuelan government is currently battling more than 20 similar demands at the World Bank by other foreign companies over the state’s takeover of private assets under its former president, Hugo Chavez.
Exxon Mobil said in a statement: “The decision confirms that the Venezuelan government failed to provide fair compensation for expropriated assets.”
The company added that it “accepts Venezuela’s legal right to expropriate the assets of our affiliates subject to compensation at fair market value”.
A previous decision in 2012 ruled that PDVSA, the state oil company, should pay Exxon $908 million.
Venezuela has since paid a portion of that award, which will be taken into account in calculating the balance that Venezuela owes.
Tech giant Apple has lost its crown as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company after its shares continued to fall.
Oil company Exxon Mobil has regained the top slot after Apple shares fell 2.4%, following a 12% drop on Thursday.
Apple, which posted disappointing iPhone sales figures on Wednesday, has seen its shares fall 37% since their record high last September.
Exxon became number one in 2005, traded places with Apple during 2011, and had been number two since early 2012.
At the close on Wall Street, Apple had a market value of $413 billion, against Exxon’s of $418 billion.
Apple has been hit by fears over its future growth, despite record profits.
Although the firm said on Wednesday that it had sold more iPhones (47.8 million) and iPads (22.9 million) in the final three months of last year than in any previous quarter, investors and analysts had expected yet more.
On Thursday, about $50 billion was wiped off Apple’s value after the biggest daily drop in the firm’s stock in four years.
Exxon Mobil has regained the crown as world’s most valuable publicly traded company after Apple shares continued to fall
Apple is also facing fierce competition from rivals like Samsung, which accounted for one in four of all mobile phones shipped worldwide last year, according to Strategy Analytics.
Apple’s share price rose sharply following a revival under Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, which came about first in computers and then the iPod music player, and was then followed by the iPhone and iPad.
Apple’s shares were worth as little as $3.19 in 1997 when it faced the possibility of bankruptcy, and reached a record $702.1 on September 19.