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In an unpublished opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that an indefinitely moored gaming vessel is not a vessel for purposes of general maritime law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


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


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


Company and Senior Officers Fined for Falsifying Export Certificates

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a news release stating that a Louisiana company specializing in the export of agricultural products and its principal officers plead guilty in federal court to counterfeiting and using phytosanitary certificates. The company president and vice president were sentenced to five years probation and fines of $250,000 each. The company was assessed a criminal fine of $500,000


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


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


Six Greenpeace Activists Leave Arctic-bound Oil Rig

AFP PhotoJay Directo

  Six Greenpeace activists rappelled down from an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday after spending six days living on the structure to protest against drilling in the Arctic, the environmental organization said. The multinational team climbed aboard Polar Pioneer


Navy Officer Pleads Guilty to Bribery

U.S. Navy officer pleads guilty to selling classified ship schedules as part of expanding Navy bribery probe   A lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy pleaded guilty to bribery charges in federal court, admitting that he accepted cash


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


BP Denied $700M in Insurance from Gulf Spill

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that BP Plc cannot claim about $700 million in insurance that was carried by offshore driller Transocean Ltd to cover the blowout of BP's Macondo well in 2010, the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history.


Shipping Company, Chief Engineer Charged for Dumping Oil

U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced  that AML Ship Management GMBH, a German company, and Nicolas Sassin, Chief Engineer of a vehicle carrier ship it operated, the M/V City of Tokyo, were both charged with knowingly dumping oil into United States’ waters off the coast of


Pressure Mounts to Settle West Coast Port Dispute

LOS ANGELES, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Two U.S. Cabinet secretaries joined congressional leaders, three governors and a big-city mayor on Wednesday in pushing shipping lines and the dockworkers' union to settle a contract dispute that has led to months of turmoil and cargo backups at 29 West Coast ports


BP Bid to Cut Gulf Spill fine Denied

A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected BP Plc's attempt to reduce the maximum civil fine it could face for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, leaving it potentially liable to pay $13.7 billion under the federal Clean Water Act. U.S


Chief Engineer Sentenced for Pollution Violations

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein (Photo courtesy of: USDOJ)

Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Noly Torato Vidad of the Philippines, the Chief Engineer of the cargo vessel M/V Selene Leader, to eight months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for obstruction of justice and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from


Former Norwegian Cruise Line CEO sues Virgin Group

The former chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd sued Richard Branson's Virgin Group in federal court in Miami for $300 million on Wednesday over plans by the British billionaire to launch his own luxury cruise line.  


Richard Branson's Virgin Group Accused of Pirating

Image: Richard Branson Facebook Page

 British billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Cruises has sailed into early choppy waters as a former CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line accused of pirating business plans and ideas for building "ultra ships."    Former Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Colin Veitch has filed suit


Court: BP Employees Can't Be Charged Under Seaman's Manslaughter Law

   The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard)

  A federal court ruled on Wednesday that BP well site leaders on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig cannot be charged with seaman's manslaughter in the deaths of eleven workers that died during the 2010 rig explosion because they were not seamen.  


Ohio Sues Army Corps over Cleveland Harbor dredging

Cleveland Harbour Lake Erie by US Army Corps of Engineers

 Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office filed suit Tuesday against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its plan either to place dredge material from Cleveland Harbor in Lake Erie or refrain from dredging the entire navigation channel unless a non-federal partner pays to place it in


Shell Seeks Removal of Activists from Oil Rig

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it has filed a complaint in federal court in Alaska seeking an order to remove Greenpeace activists who climbed aboard an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean bound for the Arctic on Monday in a protest against Arctic drilling.


Greenpeace Activists Refuse To Leave Shell Arctic Oil Rig

Greenpeace activists hang on a Shell oil rig on board the Blue Marlin. Photo by Greenpeace International

 "Shell wants activists off its rig. We want Shell out of the Arctic," says Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA’s Executive Director.   Attorneys for Royal Dutch Shell PLC on Tuesday sued in federal court to remove six Greenpeace activists who boarded a vessel carrying an






 
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