By John Lee.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) has announced what it describes as "the successful conclusion of arbitration" regarding the 220,000 bpd-capacity Ras Lanuf oil refinery.
Trasta Energy, a subsidiary of the Emirati Al Ghurair Investment Group, and the Libyan Emirati Refining Company (LERCO), the company which owns and operates the Ras Lanuf Refinery and is a joint venture between NOC and Trasta, took the case before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris.
In a statement, the NOC said:
"Trasta and Lerco commenced the arbitration proceedings against NOC in late 2013 and it has taken the two cases’ tribunals over three years to decide on the dispute and issue final rulings. On 5 January 2018, the ICC Tribunal hearing the Lerco/ NOC case dismissed all Lerco damage claims against NOC which amounted to the total of 812 million US dollars (eight hundred and twelve million US dollars). The tribunal awarded NOC compensations for its counterclaims totaling approximately US$116 million US dollars (one hundred and sixteen million US dollars) plus interest.
"This award follows a decision issued last November in the case brought against NOC by Trasta, in which a separate ICC tribunal pronounced that Trasta was not entitled to any of its claims totaling more than 100 million USD (one hundred million US dollars) pursuant to the Shareholders Agreement signed between NOC and Trasta. This pronouncement forced Trasta to withdraw all its claims thereafter.
"Both these awards constitute victories for NOC against its litigants and reflect the strength of NOC's arguments and legal grounds by which NOC refuted the litigants' claims or reinforced its counterclaims.
"NOC potential losses are estimated at more than ten billion US dollars had the Lerco claims been accepted and the contract relationship with Al Ghurair Group continued on the basis as demanded by Lerco for the contract period agreed upon in the FSA."
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said:
"NOC is the trusted guardian of Libyan oil wealth. We will make every effort to defend that wealth. We stress the importance of Lerco re-starting operations Ras Lanuf Oil Refinery as soon as possible.
"NOC will now take all necessary steps and procedures to ensure the enforcement of the award issued in the Lerco case by the Arbitration Tribunal on 05 January 2018. Trasta and Lerco are requested to fully comply with the implementation of their contractual obligations."