The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered Argentina to pay BG Group $185.3 million in compensation for losses incurred in a 2002 gas-price freeze.

The high court's justices voted 7-2 in favor of the British oil and gas company.

BG Group appealed the case to the Supreme Court after a federal appeals court in Washington in 2012 threw out an earlier arbitration award in the company's favor.

The appeals court had sided with Argentina on the grounds that - under a British-Argentine treaty - BG should have initially brought the dispute to a court in the South American country.

But the U.S. high court found that the local litigation requirement was not applicable due to the specific circumstances surrounding the case, such as the enactment in Argentina of "new laws that hindered recourse to its judiciary by firms in BG Group's situation."

BG Group sought arbitration in 2003 over Argentina's decision to freeze gas prices the year before, shortly after the country announced a historic debt default.

The British company argued the price freeze reduced the value of its stake in gas distributor Metrogas SA, of which it was the largest shareholder. EFE