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Friday, January 16, 2015

Harvest asks for arbitration against Venezuela after failed sales, (NYSE: HNR)

Harvest Natural Resources Inc, a Texas based oil and gas company, said on Friday it has filed an arbitration request against Venezuela before a World Bank tribunal to protect the value of its investment in the South American country. The request filed with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is seen as a last resort for the Houston-based company, it said."Having exhausted all alternatives to protect Harvest's shareholders, we are now regrettably forced to exercise our right to submit this dispute to ICSID arbitration to protect the value of Harvest's investment in Venezuela," James Edmiston, Harvest's chief executive officer, said in a statement.Harvest has tried twice to sell its remaining interests in Venezuela. In 2013 a deal with Indonesia's oil company Pertamina was rejected by the Venezuelan government and a similar sale attempt to a unit of Argentina's Pluspetrol was also unsuccessful.An issue between state-owned PDVSA and its partners wanting to sell stakes in joint ventures like Harvest's Petrodelta project is valuation. Venezuela has long argued that foreign companies working in the country are not allowed to book Venezuelan reserves as part of their assets.

Shares of HNR traded higher by 3.0% or $0.03/share to $1.03. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $0.83 and as high as $5.35. On average, 389727 shares of HNR exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 157254.