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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In an unpublished opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that an indefinitely moored gaming vessel is not a vessel for purposes of general maritime law and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


U.S. Court Finds WesternGeco Patents Valid

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  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed the 2014 judgment that ION Geophysical Corp. infringed four seminal WesternGeco LLP patents covering streamer steering technology for marine seismic surveys, and that WesternGeco is the rightful owner of the pioneering


Port Botany Workers Sacked via Text Message

Image: Hutchison Ports Australia

 Infuriated workers have formed picket line at Hutchison Ports in Botany, NSW after 97 employees from Sydney and Brisbane were sacked by email.  Hutchison Ports Australia operates as Brisbane Container Terminals in Queensland.  


Overseas Shipholding Investors Settle Lawsuit with Execs, Others

Overseas Shipholding Group Inc investors have reached $16.25 million in settlements with the executives, underwriters and an auditor of the tanker company in a lawsuit related to its 2012 bankruptcy and tax problems.   Company directors and officers


HPA Clarifies Stand on Industrial Dispute, Communications to Staff

courtesy Hutchison Port Holdings Limited

  Hutchison Ports Australia (HPA) says it remains committed to negotiating a resolution to the current industrial dispute with workers in Brisbane and Sydney. HPA also wishes to clarify some of the reporting to date, including the financial challenges being faced by HPA and the process


Petrobras Requests to Assist the Federal Prosecutors Office

Logo

  On April 24, Petrobras submitted a request to assist the Federal Prosecutors Office in seven criminal lawsuits related to Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash), in which the company is the defendant. These lawsuits have been filed at the 13th Federal Court in Curitiba


BP Wins Right to Appeal Gulf Spill Damages Claims

BP Plc deserves the right to have a federal appeals court review some damage claims awarded under the settlement to compensate people and businesses harmed by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday.   The 5th U.S


Shipping Company To Pay $800K For Dumping Oil

AML Ship Management GMBH, a German company, was sentenced in federal court today to pay a total of $800,000 in fines and community service payments for violating the Clean Water Act and the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by intentionally discharging 4


Panel to Oversee Australian Submarine Program

Australia’s future submarine programme

With France, Germany and Japan having confirmed their participation as potential international partners in the Australia’s future submarine programme, the Government today announces the establishment of the Expert Advisory Panel, which will oversee the competitive evaluation process.


Retailers Applaud Introduction of Port Legislation

Senate bill aims to mitigate impact of labor disputes at America’s ports. In a letter sent today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) welcomed the introduction of the Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipments (PORTS) Act in the U.S Senate


US Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Shell Spill Plans in Alaska

A divided federal appeals court rejected an effort by environmental groups to void a U.S. agency's approval of two oil spill response plans by Royal Dutch Shell Plc related to the company's oil leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas on Alaska's Arctic coast.  


Shell Barge Arrives in Alaska

Arctic Challenger. Photo by Royal Dutch Shell

 The Arctic Challenger, an oil spill containment barge, that had left Bellingham, north of Seattle, and was headed toward Dutch Harbor, in Unalaska, off mainland Alaska,  reached port in Alaska on Wednesday, June 10, for a brief stop before heading to the Chukchi Sea to support


Woman Sentenced for Making Hoax Distress Call

Search and rescue operation

  A Chicago woman was sentenced in federal court Thursday for making a false distress call nearly two years ago which led to several agencies launching a dangerous search and rescue operation in Lake Michigan off of Rogers Park Beach.


Shipping Company Sentenced for Dumping Oil

Dauelsberg GmbH & Co. KG, a German company, was sentenced in U.S. federal court June 3 to pay a total of $750,000 in fines and community service payments for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by intentionally discharging 1


ICTSI Efforts to Labor Slowdowns

Senator James E. Risch

  The Preventing Labor Union Slowdowns Act of 2015 (PLUS Act) was introduced last Thursday in the United States Senate to help prevent the type of maritime labor slowdowns at the Port of Portland and 28 other West Coast ports that disrupted domestic and international trade and nearly brought


Ex-BP Engineer Deserves New Gulf Spill Trial -US Appeals Court

Photo: NOAA

A former BP Plc engineer deserves a new trial on an obstruction of justice charge related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.   The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans agreed with a lower court judge's decision last June to throw out






 
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