Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said on Saturday that his country is in ‘friendly’ negotiations with Occidental Petroleum Corp over the payment of a $1.77b award the Latin American nation was ordered to pay for seizing the US-based company’s assets in 2006, reports Reuters.

The government of Ecuador decided to terminate its contract with Occidental in May 2006, claiming that the company had sold a stake in its operations without the consent of the government. At the time, Occidental was the country’s largest oil investor, extracting around 100,000 b/d.

On early October this year, the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered that Ecuador should pay damages to Occidental, as well as interest on the basic sum.

Correa said Ecuador would appeal the decision, demanding that it be declared null and void.

On Saturday, he said, “We’re ready, we’ve been talking with the company to try to resolve things in a friendly way, things are going well,” the leftist leader said, without providing further details.

“We have a lot of faith that the tribunal has taken up our petition for annulment, but if that’s not the case, we’re ready for any scenario,” he added.