(Translation: “Gimme everything you got under your belt.” The belt in question is the Orinoco Belt, a region rich with extra-heavy crude oil.)
Pardon me for the Schadenfreude, but this is just too sweet…
The High Court in London has suspended an order that froze $12bn (£6bn) of the assets of Venezuela’s state oil firm, PDVSA, in a dispute with ExxonMobil.
Exxon is seeking $12bn in compensation from PDVSA, after its interests were nationalised last year.
Venezuela has settled with other international oil firms, but says Exxon exaggerated the value of its assets.
Presiding Judge Paul Walker said he would publish the reasons behind his judgement later in the day.
The assets were originally frozen pending arbitration on the value of Exxon’s former holdings.
Venezuela’s ambassador in the UK, Samuel Moncada, hailed the result as “the beginning of the end” of what he called Exxon’s “campaign of harassment against PDVSA around the world”.
“The English judge rejected Exxon’s intention to use an English court as an instrument of coercion against a Venezuelan company,” he added.
UPDATE: And that’s not all…they’ve also been ordered to pay Venezuela’s court costs. PLUS damages. This is gonna get muy interesante, kiddies.