Harvest drops Venezuelan arbitration move

Affiliates of Harvest Natural Resources Inc. have withdrawn a request for international arbitration alleging the government of Venezuela hampered efforts to sell interests in the country (OGJ Online, Jan. 16, 2015).

The affiliates, HNR Finance BV (Harvest BV) and Harvest Vinccler SCA, filed the request with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. They own 32% of Petrodelta SA, which produces oil in eastern Venezuela.

Harvest has tried to sell the interest to PT Pertamina (Persoro) of Indonesia and Pluspetrol Venezuela SA.

Withdrawal of the arbitration request followed an order of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware sought by Petroandina Resources Corp. NV, an affiliate of Pluspetrol Resources Corp. BV and an indirect equity owner of Harvest BV.

According to Harvest, Petroandina and affiliates reported harm to their business relationships in Venezuela, which include an investment in Petrodelta.

In a press release, James A. Edmiston, Harvest president and chief executive officer, said, “Despite the fact that we continue to believe that the immediate pursuit of the claims set forth in our arbitration request is in the best interests of all equity owners of Harvest BV, we will be delayed from promptly pursuing these claims without going through a process established in the shareholders’ agreement with Petroandina or obtaining a waiver of that process.”

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