Libya's NOC wins arbitration case, calls for restart of Ras Lanuf refinery

Libya's NOC wins arbitration case, calls for restart of Ras Lanuf refinery
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 $812mn.
Published: 14 January 2018 - 2 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery

Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) recently announced the successful conclusion of arbitration brought against NOC in front of ICC Court in Paris by Trasta Energy Limited and Libyan Emirati Refining Company (Lerco).

Eng. Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the NOC board, 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 of Ras Lanuf Oil Refinery as soon as possible."

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 $812mn. The tribunal awarded NOC compensations for its counterclaims totalling approximately $116mn 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 totalling more than $100mn 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 $10bn 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.

Eng. Sanalla added: "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 5 January 2018. Trasta and Lerco are requested to fully comply with the implementation of their contractual obligations."

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