A&V Oil, represented by Peter Knox QC and Robert Strang, has won its arbitration claim against the former state oil company of Trinidad and Tobago, Petrotrin, arising out of the notorious “fake oil” scandal.
Petrotrin terminated A&V’s contract to explore and supply oil from the Catshill Field in Trinidad and ejected A&V from the field, alleging that A&V had fraudulently overstated the volumes of oil that it had been producing and delivering to Petrotrin.
But the arbitrators found that Petrotrin had failed to establish wrongdoing on the part of A&V and did not have reasonable grounds for the suspicions upon which it had founded its decision to terminate A&V’s contract.
As a result, A&V becomes entitled to money withheld by Petrotrin in payment for oil delivered by A&V, and the arbitration now proceeds to quantify, in addition, the damages suffered by A&V as a result of the wrongful termination of the contract and its premature ejection from the field.
The arbitration was conducted remotely, with Mr Knox QC and Mr Strang appearing by video link in London against opponents in Trinidad, while witnesses gave evidence to the Tribunal from Scotland and the USA as well as Trinidad. The arbitrators themselves, Sir Dennis Byron (the former president of the Caribbean Court of Justice), Lord Hope and retired justice of appeal Humphrey Stollmeyer, conducted the hearing remotely from St Lucia, Edinburgh and Trinidad, respectively.
Mr Knox QC was supported by a team of attorneys in Trinidad, headed by Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC.
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December 7, 2021