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In an unpublished opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that an indefinitely moored gaming vessel is not a vessel for purposes of general maritime law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


Former US Navy Attaché Sentenced for Taking Bribes

A Retired U.S. Navy Captain was sentenced in federal court today to 41 months in prison for his role in a massive bribery and fraud scheme involving foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and his firm, Singapore-based, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).


Shipping Firms Pay $1.9 Mln for Pollution Cover-up

Two shipping companies based in Egypt and Singapore will pay $1.9 million in penalties after pleading guilty in federal court to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and obstruction of justice for covering up the illegal dumping of oil-contaminated bilge water and garbage into


Canada Orders Seizure of Oil Tanker

The Federal Court of Canada has ordered the seizure of a 721,915-barrel cargo of crude from Kurdistan aboard the "Neverland" oil tanker on the request of the Iraq Oil Ministry, court documents show.   The Iraq Oil Ministry has also filed a claim against commodity trading house


Tanker with Disputed Kurdish Oil Reappears off Malta

The Neverland tanker has reappeared off the coast of Malta after going off radar near Canada on June 30, when it was chartered by oil trader Vitol carrying Iraqi Kurdish crude oil, Reuters ship-tracking showed on Friday.   The tanker had been heading to eastern Canada to discharge the cargo


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.  


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.  


US Offshore Wind Faces Pushback from Fishing Groups

© Shaun Wilkinson / Adobe Stock

The auction for the rights to the wind farm off the coast of New York has encountered pushback from fishing groups concerned about the impact a large-scale wind project will have on the access to prime fishing areas. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was set to administer the


Navigational Changes Needed at Port of Hamburg

“The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig has expressly underlined the necessity for the adjustment of the navigation channel with its decision today,” says Jens Meier CEO of Hamburg Port Authority commenting on the judgement of the Federal Administrative Court for the fairway


Asbestos on Board

File photo: Workers clean the interior of a cargo hold aboard the LST-1166. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Pacific Strike Team)

What happens when a solution to one or many obstacles ends up becoming an even larger problem? For seamen, one such problem is asbestos.    Asbestos is a natural fiber that was mined for use in construction and household products


Fishing Vessel Captain Pleads Guilty to Pollution Charges

A captain of the fishing vessel (F/V) Native Sun pleaded guilty in federal court in Seattle for discharging oily-waste directly into the ocean in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and the federal conspiracy statute.  


Cabotage Rules Changes Proposed

Dennis Bryant

On January 18, 2017, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proposed in its Customs Bulletin & Decisions newsletter a significant change to the U.S. cabotage rules. For many years, use of non-coastwise-qualified vessels in the transportation of pipeline repair material; anodes; pipeline


Foreign Defense Contractor Executives Guilty of Fraud

Two former executives of a foreign defense contractor pleaded guilty in federal court today for participating in a conspiracy to submit bogus bids, claims and invoices to the U.S. Navy in an effort to steal tens of millions of dollars as part of a years-long corruption and fraud scheme.  






 
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