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Federal Court

U.S. Federal Court Bars OPEC From Price Fixing

A U.S. federal court reportedly has granted a one-year injunction barring oil producer group OPEC from fixing prices. Prewitt Enterprises won a civil anti-trust case in an Alabama court, accusing the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of conspiring to fix oil prices through oil supply agreements. OPEC is for the next year "restrained from entering any agreements among themselves or with third parties to raise, lower, or otherwise determine volumes of production and export of crude oil," a Senior U.S. District Judge ruled March 21. OPEC made successive cuts in production through 1998 and 1999 that pushed crude oil prices to their high level since the Gulf War and lifted gasoline pump prices to record highs.


Chemoil Files Suit Against STUSCO

Chemoil Corporation announced today that it has filed suit against Shell Trading US Co. (STUSCO) in the Federal Courts of the Southern District of Texas in connection with certain acidic products, which STUSCO supplied to Chemoil during 2003. In this suit, Chemoil is seeking indemnity from STUSCO, as well as damages for breach of contract and other causes of action. This action is directly related to a series of TAN (Total Acid Number) bunker claims received by Chemoil in New Orleans


Indefinitely Moored Vessel not Subject of Admiralty Jurisdiction

In an unpublished opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that an indefinitely moored gaming vessel is not a vessel for purposes of general maritime law and not subject to the admiralty jurisdiction of federal courts. In the instant case, the gaming vessel was afloat, but had not moved since arriving at its Lakes Charles mooring in 2001. The owners had no intention of moving the vessel. Plaintiff alleged personal injury from a slip-and-fall on carpeting outside the


Exxon Mobil Wants PDVSA Legal Edict Enforced

  Oil company Exxon Mobil asked a U.S. District Court on Friday to recognize a World Bank arbitration ruling that Venezuela must pay $1.6 billion over a nationalization claim filed in 2007. "Awards issued pursuant to the ICSID Convention are subject to automatic recognition and enforcement in the United States," the filing said in part. The International Court Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) published the arbitration ruling on Thursday


DOI Issues FSEIS for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193, moving the DOI a step closer to resolving federal court concerns regarding the 2008 oil and gas leases offshore Alaska. The FSEIS updates the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) estimates of the full range of production levels from offshore oil fields that might be developed in the Chukchi Sea as well as the related potential environmental


Brazil Convicts First Engineering Exec in Petrobras Scandal

Three executives of Brazil's Camargo Correa group were convicted on money laundering, corruption and other charges on Monday, the first construction-industry executives to be sentenced in a giant price fixing and bribery scandal involving state-run oil company Petrobras.   The convictions were handed down by Judge Sergio Moro of Brazil's Federal Court in Curitiba, Brazil, the court said in its ruling.   The convicted included Dalton dos Santos Avancini


TSA Issues Security Threat Assessment Application

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a notice stating that it is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to require that individuals seeking access to Sensitive Security Information (SSI) for use in civil proceedings in federal court submit a security threat assessment application. As part of this application, as proposed, the attorney will be required to submit identifying information, information regarding the litigation


Enviro Fugitive Caught

Sherman Smith, owner of Seawall Construction, a Seattle area marine construction company, was surrendered to the U.S. Marshall's Service in Tucson, Ariz., on April 1 by the Mexican Government. Smith had forfeited $20,000 bail when he failed to appear for trial in federal court in Washington State in May 1996 and had been living in Mexico. Smith was previously charged on Sept. 27, 1995, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle with violating the Clean Water Act


Misplacing Benton Harbor results in dismissal of action

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the trial court’s decision to dismiss an admiralty action filed in the wrong district. In the instant case, plaintiff contracted to have cold-rolled steel shipped from Belgium to Benton Harbor, Indiana. The bills of lading provided, in pertinent part, that any action was to be brought in the federal district court having admiralty jurisdiction at the U.S. port of discharge. Plaintiff brought suit in federal court in Chicago


DOT – Drug and Alcohol Testing

The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule amending (again) its regulations pertaining to urine specimen collections as part of the drug and alcohol testing procedures.  A federal court has issued a temporary stay regarding the recent change to the regulations.  Therefore, until the court issues its decision on the propriety of the new procedures, the previous procedures will remain in effect


US Marshals Service Detains Tanker in Philadelphia

The U.S. Marshals Service has blocked a vessel headed to the Monroe Energy refinery outside of Philadelphia from leaving the port in connection with a civil court order, the federal agency said.   The order was issued by a civil court judge in Eastern federal court related to failure to


Hanjin Shipping Secures $45 mln to Rescue Stranded Cargo

File Image: A Hanjin boxship underway (Credit: Hanjin)

Parent group transfers $36 mln to troubled shipper. It may cost over $150 mln to unload stranded cargo. The chairman of Hanjin Group transferred 40 billion won ($36 million) to Hanjin Shipping on Tuesday to help unload cargo stranded on the troubled shipper's vessels, a spokesman said


German Shipping Firms Convicted of Environmental Crimes

Photo: Sap Marine

 Two German shipping companies that owned and operated the Motor Vessel (M/V) Nils B, pleaded guilty today to an environmental crime in federal court in San Diego before the Honorable Jan M. Adler, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden and United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy.


Italian Tanker Officer Receives 8-month Prison Sentence

A senior engineering officer employed by an Italian shipping company was sentenced to eight months in prison for deliberately concealing a vessel’s discharge of oily waste into the sea, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.  


Ship Captain Guilty of Felony Obstruction

A Filipino citizen and the captain of the tanker ship, T/V Green Sky, pleaded guilty today to one felony count in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, for obstructing a U.S. Coast Guard investigation into pollution crimes aboard the vessel.


Transocean Defeats Shareholder Appeal over Gulf Spill

Transocean Ltd on Thursday won the dismissal of an appeal by shareholders accusing the owner of the doomed Deepwater Horizon drilling rig of deceiving them about its safety practices prior to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The 2nd U.S


Oil Spill Response: Responder Immunity Analyzed

On February 16, 2016, Judge Carl J. Barbier of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted summary judgment in favor of the various commercial oil spill response companies involved in the federal government’s response to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil


DSD Shipping Fined $2.5m Over Oil Dumping

Stavanger Blossom. Photo: DSD Shipping

 Norwegian shipping company DSD Shipping has been fined $2.5m in a US federal court for oil dumping from an aframax.    DSD has been sentenced of its convictions in Mobile, Alabama, for obstructing justice, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS)


Cruise Ship Industry Sues Alaska Capital over Artificial Island

City leaders in Juneau, Alaska, have misspent millions in fees from cruise ship passengers to build an artificial island with a life-sized statue of a humpback whale, a passenger vessel association said in a lawsuit.   The Cruise Lines International Association on Tuesday sued Alaska's


Greek Ship Owner, Operator Prosecuted in Pollution Case

Pictured is the 735-foot bulk carrier Gallia Graeca while anchored near Lighthouse Park in Vancouver, Canada, Jan. 13, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

The companies that own and operate a Greek shipping vessel and two engineers from the ship were convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of 12 felony counts related to their dumping of oily waste at sea, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. 


UAE Top Court: Physical Bunkers Suppliers Have No Right to Recourse against Owners/Charterers

File photo: OW Bunker

The OW saga - UAE Federal Supreme Court decides that physical suppliers of bunkers have no right to recourse against Owners/Charterers. In the first decision on the issue from the most senior court in the country, the UAE Federal Supreme Court has decided that physical suppliers of bunkers have


Petrobras, SBM Offshore, Brazilian Authorities Reach Settlement

Logo Courtesy SBM offshore

The Ministry of Transparency, Oversight and Control (Ministério da Transparência, Fiscalização e Controle - "MTFC"), the Public Prosecutor's Office (Ministério Público Federal - "MPF")


Senior Officers Admit to Concealing Oily Waste Discharge

Two senior engineering officers employed by an Italian shipping company admitted they deliberately concealed their vessel’s discharge of oily waste into the sea, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.   Girolamo Curatolo, 50, of Custonaci, Sicily, the chief engineer of an oil tanker


Securing the Scorpene: DCNS to Move Court

Photo: DCNS

 The French shipbuilder DCNS plans to seek an injunction to prevent further publication of information contained in 22,400 secret documents about stealth submarines built for India, says The Australian.   The company will seek legal action in the Supreme Court of New South Wales after


Australia Bans Bulk Carrier for 12 Months

Hong Kong flagged bulk carrier Five Stars Fujian has been banned from Australian ports for 12 months once it was discovered that the vessel lacked sufficient provisions for its intended voyage and the crew had not been paid in several months.  






 
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