Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 13-7169 (D.C. Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
This case arose when Venezuela and two of its agencies seized all assets of an American drilling company's Venezuelan subsidiary. Both parent and subsidiary filed suit claiming that the expropriation of the subsidiary's business and assets without compensation violated international law.
On remand from the Supreme Court, at issue was whether either company had alleged facts that were sufficient, if true, to establish that it had in fact suffered a taking in violation of international law. The DC Circuit held that only the American parent, not its Venezuelan subsidiary, had done so. The court held that the domestic-takings rule barred the subsidiary's expropriation claim where the subsidiary was considered a Venezuelan national under international law. In this case, the subsidiary was incorporated in Venezuela and had a legal identity distinct from that of its parent shareholders under local law. The court further held that, given the subsidiary's Venezuelan nationality, its takings claim against Venezuela was a matter of domestic, not international, law under the domestic-takings rule. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the subsidiary's claims, as well as the denial of defendants' motion to dismiss the parent's claims.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on May 1, 2015.