CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - An international arbitration tribunal is ruling that Venezuela must pay ConocoPhillips more than $8 billion as compensation for the government's expropriation of the U.S. oil giant's investments in Venezuela in 2007.

The World Bank's ICSID tribunal had ruled in 2013 that the expropriation of ConocoPhillips investments in two heavy crude oil projects violated international law.

"We welcome the ICSID tribunal's decision, which upholds the principle that governments cannot unlawfully expropriate private investments without paying compensation," said Kelly B. Rose, senior vice president, Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of ConocoPhillips.

Venezuela's oil production has collapsed to one-third of its historic output, which critics blame on two decades of socialist rule. Venezuela faces around 20 arbitration cases at the World Bank, more than any other country in the world.

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