World Tanker Avoid Court After Govt Legal Threat

91

Singapore-based World Tankers Management (WTM) is trying to defuse a row with the Cambodian government after the Energy Ministry said it had filed a criminal complaint in local courts against the operator of the MT Strovolos, says an article published on khmer times website. 

Why do authorities question the captain and crew?

The tanker was moored and connected to a production barge next to oil platforms in the Apsara oil field Block A of Cambodia’s offshore reserves. 

The government says it sailed out of Cambodian waters without obtaining customs clearance or permission from the authorities and switched off its  automatic identification system for nearly two days until it had left Cambodian waters. It is now being held by Indonesian authorities who are questioning the captain and crew.

WTM statement 

WTM released a statement last month saying it believed the cargo belonged to the charterers of the Strovolos whom, it claims, failed to pay for the hire of the vessels or supply it with fuel when levels were critically low.

“The charterer’s default meant that we and the crew had no realistic choice but to sail the vessel to the nearest appropriate port… to refuel for the safety of the crew, ship and the cargo,” WTM said.

“We also wish to highlight the impact on humanitarian issues of the approach taken by Cambodian and Indonesian authorities, where wrongful allegations made against the crew have resulted in refusals to enable a lawful crew change,” they said, adding they planned to “resort to diplomatic channels and the UN Human Rights Office” to free the crew.

Statement of Ministry of Mines & Energy 

The Ministry of Mines and Energy issued its own statement, saying: “The disputes regarding the payment of hire are between the vessel’s owners/managers and the charterer and do not involve the Kingdom of Cambodia; MT Strovolos illegally left Cambodian waters and took steps to evade detection once it had done so, eventually entering Indonesian waters where it has been detained. 

Consequently, various breaches of Cambodian and Indonesian laws have been committed and are now the subject of investigation and legal process.”

Ensure to resolve the issue 

“All parties are now working together closely to ensure this situation is resolved in a speedy and amicable way and we believe that will happen soon,” WTM said yesterday. The spokesperson did not elaborate on how it would avoid the courts to decide who owns the 300,000 barrels of oil on the tanker, worth around $20 million.

Oil explorer KrisEnergy said it was unable to pay its debts and abandoned the Apsara project. It owned 95 percent of the venture, the remainder belonging to the Cambodian government, which was expecting around $500 million in taxes and royalties over the project’s lifetime.

Cheap Sour, director-general of the General Department of Petroleum, sent the Energy Ministry statement to Khmer Times on Friday. The Energy Ministry had no comment to make yesterday when asked whether it thought the issue could be resolved without going through the courts, as WTM hopes.

Summary 

  • Singapore-based World Tankers Management (WTM) is trying to defuse a row with the Cambodian government after the Energy Ministry said it had filed a criminal complaint in local courts against the operator of the MT Strovolos.
  • WTM released a statement last month saying it believed the cargo belonged to the charterers of the Strovolos whom, it claims, failed to pay for the hire of the vessels or supply it with fuel when levels were critically low.
  • Various breaches of Cambodian and Indonesian laws have been committed and are now the subject of investigation and legal process.

Did you subscribe to our daily newsletter?

It’s Free! Click here to Subscribe!

Source: khmertimes

 

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.