NNPC gets judgment from UK court over $310m oil contract
A United Kingdom Commercial Court in London has ruled in favour of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in a suit filed by IPCO Nigeria over a dispute that arose from a contract to build an oil terminal in Port Harcourt.
IPCO Nigeria is a subsidiary of the IPCO Group, a turnkey contractor and investor in energy infrastructure projects.
NNPC, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, explained that the case which stretched for ten years, initially arose from a dispute following IPCO’s claim that NNPC should bear the cost of variations (alterations to the scope of works in the original construction contract), which caused a 22-month delay to the works.
“Following arbitration proceedings in Nigeria, IPCO was awarded $150 million in 2004, together with annual interest running at 14 per cent, a ruling which was challenged by NNPC in the Nigerian courts,” the statement added.
However, since then, IPCO repeatedly sought to enforce the award in England before the conclusion of the proceedings in Nigeria, resulting in three reported judgments in the case, it said.
The statement said it was established that during IPCO’s previous attempt to enforce the award, NNPC discovered evidence that IPCO had forged documents relating to the claim and, as a result, the parties agreed in 2009 to adjourn the enforcement proceedings and await the outcome of the challenge in Nigeria.