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US oil giant gets official support over dispute with Venezuela
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The US government will support its oil giant ExxonMobil's bid to receive a fair compensation package for its assets in a dispute with Venezuela, the State Department said Wednesday. 

"We fully support the efforts of ExxonMobil to get a just and fair compensation package for their assets according to the standards of international law," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

Venezuela announced Tuesday that it's state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has stopped oil sales to US-based Exxon Mobil Corp. in retaliation for the US energy giant's securing court orders to freeze billions of dollars in global PDVSA assets. 

When asked to comment on PDVSA's suspension, McCormack said: "This is all part of an ongoing commercial dispute between Venezuela and ExxonMobil .... We're not involved in that dispute. That's something to be litigated between Venezuela and ExxonMobil and various courts around the world." 

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed on Wednesday the freezing of 300 million dollars belonging to Venezuela's state oil company ahead of a multibillion- dollar arbitration case brought by Exxon Mobil over the state's nationalization of a huge oil project. 

Venezuela is the fourth largest oil exporter to the United States. 

US-Venezuelan relations have been fraught with tension with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez saying that the United States is planning an invasion of his country, while the United States says Chavez is destabilizing the region. 

(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2008)

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