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A&V loses third injunction bid against Petrotrin

Friday, February 9, 2018

For a third time in less than a month, A&V Oil and Gas have lost their bid for an injunction blocking State owned Petrotrin from terminating its agreement and withholding a $83 million payment over allegations of inflated billings.

Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Appellate judges Andre Des Vignes and Charmaine Pemberton yesterday dismissed the company’s appeal against the decision of a High Court Judge, who rejected the injunction application in mid-January.

Appellate Judge Prakash Moosai had upheld Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams’ decision in a procedural appeal, late last month.

However, the company requested that a full three member Appeal Court panel reconsider the issue.

In its written ruling, the panel ruled that the company had failed to prove that both Quinlan-Williams and Moosai were plainly wrong in their concurring decisions.

Immediately after the ruling, the company’s lawyer British Queen’s Counsel Peter Knox indicated that his client would lodge a final appeal before the United Kingdom-based Privy Council.

Knox expressed concerns over whether his client would be immediately evicted from the oil field, it has been operating under licence from Petrotrin since 2009.

Petrotrin’s lawyer Deborah Peake, SC, said that her client was unwilling to give an official undertaking but stated that it would not take steps to enforce the termination for the next two weeks.

In her decision, Quinlan Williams had said that Petrotrin was justified in terminating based on the findings of internal and external audit reports into its relationship with A&V.

“Applying an objective test of what reasonable grounds means Petrotrin had reasonable grounds for suspecting that A&V had misconducted itself based on the information contained in the internal audit report,” Quinlan-Williams said.

She rejected A&V’s claim that Petrotrin was required to disclose the external reports, prepared by global oil and gas consultants Gaffney Cline and Kroll Consulting, as she said that they was privilege information.

She suggested that it was also not entitled to the injunction as the contract contained a multi-tiered and explicit dispute resolution process which includes negotiation, mitigation and arbitration.

A&V is also being represented by Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC, Ronnie Bissessar, Vijaya Maharaj and Varin Gopaul-Gosine. Ravi Heffes-Doon and Marcelle Ferdinand are also representing Petrotrin.



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