In an award issued on 13 March, an ICSID (World Bank) tribunal chaired by Bankside Chambers Door Tenant Campbell McLachlan QC ruled that two Barbadian subsidiaries of US-based oil services company Tidewater should be compensated US$46 million for Venezuela’s seizure of 15 ships in Lake Maracaibo. The Tribunal was constituted under the Barbados-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty.
With pre-award interest, the award is thought to be worth around US$60 million. Tidewater had originally sought as much as US$250 million.
Tidewater had provided maritime services to Venezuela’s oil industry in Lake Maracaibo since 1957. But Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, seized the ships in 2009 after the national assembly voted to nationalise the lakes shipping industry.
See Link to Award below.