Pan American demands $1.5 bln from Bolivia for 2009 expropriation


LA PAZ, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Argentina-based energy firm PanAmerican Energy has requested $1.49 billion fromBolivia as compensation for the 2009 nationalization of itssubsidiary in the Andean nation, according to a statement lateTuesday from Bolivia's state attorney general's office.

Pan American Energy filed its request at The World BankInternational Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes inlate September, the statement said.

Bolivia's government seized control of natural gas producerChaco from Pan American in January 2009 after talks over a sharetransfer broke down.

Chaco is currently a unit of Bolivian state-owned firm YPFB.Before it was expropriated, YPFB held 49 percent of the firm.

Bolivia has not stated what it is willing to pay PanAmerican in the dispute, though the attorney general's officecalled the $1.49 billion amount "exaggerated."

Pan American Energy is controlled by BP Plc, whileArgentina's Bridas Holdings, which counts state-run Chinese oilfirm oil firm CNOOC as an investor, holds a minoritystake.

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