Houston, Texas – A US jury recently awarded Citgo $49 million in an insurance dispute over Venezuelan oil that was seized by the government. The ruling comes as a significant victory for the oil company, providing some relief in the ongoing legal battle.
The dispute began in 2017 when Citgo’s parent company, PDVSA, used the oil as collateral for a loan from Russian bank Rosneft. However, the US government imposed sanctions on Venezuela, effectively blocking the transfer of the oil, which was stored in Curacao at the time. As a result, Citgo turned to its insurance policies to recoup its losses.
Citgo’s insurers, led by Liberty Mutual, initially denied coverage, arguing that the company’s own actions had caused the loss. They claimed that Citgo’s decision to use the oil as collateral despite the worsening situation in Venezuela was a negligent move. The insurance companies maintained that they were not responsible for covering losses resulting from poor business decisions.
The case went to trial in Houston, where Citgo is headquartered. The jury ultimately sided with Citgo, deliberating for over a week before reaching a decision. The $49 million awarded to the company was based on the value of the oil at the time it was seized.
This victory is significant for Citgo, as it provides them with financial compensation for the seized oil. The company has been facing numerous challenges in recent years, including a leadership change due to political tensions between the US and Venezuela.
While this ruling is a positive outcome for Citgo, it is important to note that the larger issue of the US-Venezuela relations and the ongoing legal battles between the two countries have not been resolved. The case highlights the complexity of the situation and the potential impact on businesses operating in both countries.
In conclusion, a US jury in Houston has awarded Citgo $49 million in an insurance dispute over seized Venezuelan oil. The ruling is a significant victory for the oil company, allowing them to recoup some of their losses. However, it does not address the broader issues surrounding US-Venezuela relations and the ongoing legal battles that continue to impact businesses in both countries.