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US court says ConocoPhillips can question Citgo in court case against PDVSA

A U.S. district court judge in Texas on July 5 said that ConocoPhillips can compel Citgo Petroleum Corp. to provide information in a Curacao court case against embattled Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) and its affiliates, alleging that the state-run oil company transferred assets subject to a $2 million arbitration award to avoid payment to ConocoPhillips.

"We are pleased with the decision. PDVSA has not paid any portion of the [International Chamber of Commerce] award, and ConocoPhillips is pursuing all available legal avenues to obtain full and fair compensation for our expropriated investments in Venezuela," ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said in a July 6 email.

In 2007, ConocoPhillips' assets in Venezuela were confiscated after the country's former President Hugo Chavez nationalized several oil projects. As part of the International Chamber of Commerce arbitration award, ConocoPhillips was able to place liens on PDVSA assets in the Caribbean, including its inventories and cargoes.