Ineos rapped by judge for Apache deal price hike on North Sea pipe­line

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business -

◆ A judge has ruled that Sir Jim’s Rat­cliffe’s in­dus­trial em­pire Ineos should not have tried to hike the fee paid by a ri­val to ac­cess a key North Sea pipe­line, writes Rachel Mil­lard.

US com­pany Apache wanted more of its oil to be taken through Ineos’s For­ties Pipe­line Sys­tem, but Ineos said it would only do so if Apache paid more per bar­rel than Apache thought it should pay.

Mr Jus­tice Fox­ton con­cluded: “Ineos is act­ing non-con­trac­tu­ally by with­hold­ing con­sent to an amend­ment un­less Apache agrees to in­crease the base tar­iff payable.”

Ineos bought the pipe­line from BP in Oc­to­ber 2017, and is spend­ing £500m to main­tain and im­prove it.

The stan­dard tar­iff for the pipe­line is £1 per bar­rel. Un­der an agree­ment with for­mer own­ers BP, Apache had paid 60p un­til 2012 when its tar­iff was in­creased to £1.20 un­til 2020. Apache wanted Ineos to re­vert to the 60p rate.

Ineos said it was dis­ap­pointed with the out­come. A spokesman added: “This case was unique to th­ese oil­fields as their con­tracts are dif­fer­ent to all other For­ties Pipe­line Sys­tem cus­tomers. We will work with all our cus­tomers to pro­vide safe, re­li­able and com­pet­i­tive transporta­tion.”

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