A&V Oil and Gas gets a lifeline from court on Petrotrin termination
Petroleumworld 02 21 2018
A&V Oil and Gas has received a lifeline as state-owned Petrotrin has been restrained from giving effect to the termination of its contract with the lease operator until an appeal is lodged with the London-based Privy Council.
Although three appellate court judges upheld a previous decision of the High Court and Court of Appeal to refuse a stay, it was agreed that no action will be taken by Petrotrin so that A&V Oil can appeal the court's decision.
Presiding over appeal of the lease operator were Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Justices of Appeal Charmaine Pemberton and Andre des Vignes.
In their ruling, Archie said A&V Oil failed to persuade him and his colleagues that Justice of Appeal Prakash Moosai was plainly wrong in refusing to grant the stay of the operation of the termination notice.
A&V Oil now has until February 19 to file its appeal. Archie noted that the Registrar of the Privy Council has already been put on notice by the lease operator's attorneys and the ten-day period would give the company enough time to approach the London court.
The stay which A&V Oil pursued also sought to challenge Petrotrin's entitlement to withhold $83.9 million which was retained under a term of the agreement between the state oil company and the lease operator.
A&V Oil's attorneys, on February 15, filed the application for the injunction in the San Fernando High Court.
The application was heard by Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams and dismissed.
A second attempt was made by A&V Oil for the interim relief in an application filed in the Court of Appeal.
The lease operator was represented by attorneys British Queen's Counsel Peter Knox, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC, Ronnie Bissessar and Vijaya Maharaj. Petrotrin was represented by Senior Counsel Deborah Peake, Ravi Heffes-Doon and Marcelle Ferdinand.
Petrotrin, on December 22, announced the termination of its contract with A&V Oil and Gas.
The lease operator was at the centre of the “fake oil” scandal at Petrotrin.
Petrotrin said the findings of its audit department had been confirmed by an independent, forensic audit conducted by Canadian consultancy firm, Kroll Consulting Canada Company. The Kroll audit was commissioned by Petrotrin's board of directors.
Story from Newsday
newsday.co.tt 02 16 2018
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