Natural Resources

ITN  |  July 10, 2009

Vattenfall request for arbitration sheds new light on dispute with Germany

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 11 July 2009 Investment Treaty News (ITN) has posted the request for arbitration by the Swedish energy utility Vattenfall against the Government of Germany. In April Vattenfall brought the German government to international arbitration in a challenge to environmental restrictions imposed by the City of Hamburg on a coal-fired power plant under […]

ITN  |  June 5, 2009

US forestry company and Canada dispute British Columbia logging regulations

By Elizabeth Whitsitt 8 June 2009 Oral hearings were held in May over a claim by an American forestry and land management company against the Government of Canada for damages of US$25 million for alleged breaches of NAFTA Chapter 11. At the heart of Merrill & Ring’s complaint is a complex regulatory regime in Canada […]

ITN  |  June 5, 2009

In brief: Suspension extended in Piero Foresti, Laura de Carli and others v. Republic of South Africa

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 8 June 2009 European claimants and the government of South Africa have agreed to extend the suspension of their ICSID arbitration. The high-profile case was suspended at the end of March for two months, as the parties seek to resolve the dispute. The suspension is now due to run until June 19th. […]

ITN  |  June 5, 2009

NGOs claim the Philippine-Japan free trade agreement is unconstitutional

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 8 June 2009 A petition lodged with the Philippine Supreme Court by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) argues that the investment chapter of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) violates the Philippine constitution. The Japan-Philippines EPA—a comprehensive trade and investment agreement—grants Japanese the right to establish investments in sectors like public utilities, education, mass […]

ITN  |  June 5, 2009

Ecuador defies provisional measures in dispute with French oil company

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 8 June 2009 An ICSID tribunal authorized provisional measures on May 8th in an effort to stop the Government of Ecuador from seizing assets belong to the French oil company Perenco. Nonetheless, the state-owned Petroecuador attempted a week later to auction 1.4 million barrels of oil confiscated from Perenco, although no bidders […]

ITN  |  April 3, 2009

Deutsche Bank targets Sri Lanka with a BIT claim connected to a hedging contract

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 3 April 2009 A dispute related to oil derivatives entered into by Sri Lanka’s state-run petroleum utility has led at least one foreign bank to file arbitration proceedings against the Government of Sri Lanka. The state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) entered into hedging contracts with a number of foreign and local banks […]

ITN  |  April 2, 2009

European miners and South Africa suspend proceedings

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 2 April 2009 (Note: a correction has been made to this article. An explanation is posted below). A group of European’s with a stake in South Africa’s granite-quarrying sector and the Government of South Africa have agreed to suspend arbitration proceedings* for two months. The claimants—several Italians and a Luxembourg corporation—allege that […]

ICSID tribunal dismisses RSM Production Corporation’s claim against Grenada

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 26 March 2009 An American businessman has failed in his claim against Grenada under a 1996 oil and gas agreement, in a contract dispute conducted before an ICSID tribunal. Initiated in 2005, the ICSID claim was one of a host of legal avenues pursued by Jack J. Grynberg, the president and CEO […]

ITN  |  March 23, 2009

South African court judgment bolsters expropriation charge over Black Economic Empowerment legislation in the mining sector

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 23 March 2009 A South African judicial ruling has opened the door for two plaintiffs to seek compensation for alleged expropriation of their mineral rights, in a case that echoes the complaints made by European investors in a pending international arbitration against South Africa under bilateral investment treaties. The judgment* comes in response […]

ITN  |  February 4, 2009

Bolivian voters approve new constitution as government continues to nationalize oil assets

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 4 February 2009 Bolivian President Evo Morales has claimed victory in the 25 January 2009 national referendum on a new constitution for the Andean nation.  The constitution passed just days after the Bolivian leader announced his government was finally taking control of the Chaco Petroleum Company, as part of the ongoing […]

Awards  |  January 5, 2009

Tribunal rejects Ecuador’s jurisdictional objections in dispute with Chevron

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 5 January 2009 A tribunal has determined that it holds jurisdiction to hear a claim brought by Chevron Corporation against Ecuador for alleged violations of the Ecuador-United States bilateral investment treaty (BIT). Chevron claims that Ecuador violated the BIT by failing to deal fairly with multiple breach-of-contract cases filed against the […]

ITN  |  December 12, 2008

El Salvador warned of CAFTA-DR lawsuit by mining company

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 12 December 2008 A Canadian mining company and its American subsidiary have threatened the government of El Salvador with a lawsuit after it failed to receive regulatory approval to begin digging for gold and silver in an area some 65 km from San Salvador. The proposed mine has drawn intense opposition from […]

ITN  |  November 21, 2008

Report says Tanzania is signing bad deals with foreign mining companies

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 21 November 2008 Tanzania is losing large amounts of money from foreign investment in the mining sector due to low royalty rates and generous tax exemptions, while contracts with so-called stabilization clauses have locked the government into this tax regime for up to 50 years,  says a report published by a consortium […]

ITN  |  October 24, 2008

Jurisdictional decision sees light of day in dispute between a Greek claimant and Serbia-Montenegro

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 24 October 2008 A previously unpublished 2006 partial award on jurisdiction in an arbitration between a Greek industrial group and the government of Serbia  and Montenegro was released in October 2008, providing a fuller description of the little-publicized dispute. The row relates to a series of contracts between Mytilineos Holdings SA and […]

ITN  |  September 26, 2008

Caratube International Oil Company LLP v. Republic of Kazakhstan: American investor sues Kazakhstan over oil-field dispute

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 26 September 2008 A US citizen, Devincci Salah Hourani, has launched a lawsuit against the government of Kazakhstan over a failed contract to explore and exploit oil in the country. Mr. Hourani, who holds a 92% stake in the Kazakh firm Caratube International Oil Company (CIOC), has alleged breaches of the United […]

Awards  |  September 22, 2008

Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Occidental Exploration and Production Company v. the Republic of Ecuador: US oil company passes jurisdictional hurdle in arbitration with Ecuador

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 22 September 2008 A tribunal has accepted jurisdiction in a dispute that pits two petroleum companies against the Government of Ecuador, allowing the case to proceed to the merits stage. The two claimants, Occidental Petroleum Company (OPC) and Occidental Exploration and Production Company (OEPC), are seeking more than US$ 3 billion after […]

ITN  |  September 12, 2008

Canadian lumber company fails to vacate NAFTA Chapter 11 award in US court

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 12 September 2008 A bid by a Canadian lumber company, Tembec, to vacate a NAFTA Chapter 11 award was dismissed in August by a United States District Court. This is the second time Tembec has turned to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In 2005, Tembec made an […]

ITN  |  August 29, 2008

Ecuador threatens cancellation of oil contracts unless ICSID nixed as arbitration forum

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 29 August, 2008 The Ecuadorian government will consider contracts with oil companies terminated unless they remove the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) as the venue of arbitration. The threat comes as the Andean nation considers domestic legal reforms which would make it unconstitutional for the country to be […]

ITN  |  July 25, 2008

News: Trans-Global Petroleum Inc. v. Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: First Application of ICSID Arbitration Rule 41(5)

By Elizabeth Whitsitt 25 July 2008 Tribunal considers whether a claim by an U.S. investor against Jordon is “manifestly without legal merit”, and rejects all but one of Jordan’s objections An ICSID tribunal has ruled on whether to uphold objections filed by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan pursuant to Rule 41(5) of the ICSID Arbitration […]