DP World to pursue legal action over disputed Djibouti port

The decision by Djibouti to nationalize the Doraleh Container Terminal came after the government scrapped a 50-year concession contract with DP World. (Reuters)
Updated 11 September 2018
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DP World to pursue legal action over disputed Djibouti port

  • The Dubai-based firm said that nationalizing Doraleh amounted to an attempt to flout an injunction of the English High Court
  • The disputed terminal is an essential facility for supplies to neighboring landlocked Ethiopia and is located in the strategic Horn of Africa

DUBAI: Dubai’s global port operator DP World said Tuesday it will pursue all “legal means” to defend its claim to a Djibouti terminal after the African nation nationalized the facility.
The decision by Djibouti on Sunday to nationalize the Doraleh Container Terminal came after the government scrapped a 50-year concession contract with DP World, triggering a dispute between the two sides.
DP World said it has won three rulings from Britain-based courts over the matter, most recently an injunction at the High Court in London on August 31.
The Dubai-based firm said Tuesday that nationalizing Doraleh amounted to “an attempt to flout an injunction of the English High Court,” which barred Djibouti authorities from taking control over the facility.
The concession agreement between DP World and Djibouti signed in 2006 is governed by English law and through the London Court of International Arbitration, the port operator said.
The disputed terminal is an essential facility for supplies to neighboring landlocked Ethiopia and is located in the strategic Horn of Africa.
The Djibouti government had a two-thirds stake in the venture.
The terminal had been run by DP World since 2006, but in late February Djibouti canceled the contract.
Currently, Hong Kong-based China Merchants Port Holdings Company owns a 23.5-percent stake in the facility.


‘Get prices down’ Trump tells OPEC

Updated 20 September 2018
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‘Get prices down’ Trump tells OPEC

  • Trump highlights US security role in region
  • Comments come ahead of oil producers meeting in Algeria

LONDON: US president Donald Trump urged OPEC to lower crude prices on Thursday while reminding Mideast oil exporters of US security support.
He made his remarks on Twitter ahead of a keenly awaited meeting of OPEC countries and its allies in Algiers this weekend as pressure mounts on them to prevent a spike in prices caused by the reimposition of oil sanctions on Iran.
“We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices!” he tweeted.
“We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!”
Despite the threat, the group and its allies are unlikely to agree to an official increase in output, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing OPEC sources.
In June they agreed to increase production by about one million barrels per day (bpd). That decision was was spurred by a recovery in oil prices, in part caused by OPEC and its partners agreeing to lower production since 2017.
Known as OPEC+, the group of oil producers which includes Russia are due to meet on Sunday in Algiers to look at how to allocate the additional one million bpd within its quote a framework.
OPEC sources told Reuters that there was no immediate plan for any official action as such a move would require OPEC to hold what it calls an extraordinary meeting, which is not on the table.
Oil prices slipped after Trumps remarks, with Brent crude shedding 40 cents to $79 a barrel in early afternoon trade in London while US light crude was unchanged at about $71.12.
Brent had been trading at around $80 on expectations that global supplies would come under pressure from the introduction of US sanctions on Iranian crude exports on Nov. 4.
Some countries has already started to halt imports from Tehran ahead of that deadline, leading analysts to speculate about how much spare capacity there is in the Middle East to compensate for the loss of Iranian exports as well as how much of that spare capacity can be easily brought online after years of under-investment in the industry.
Analysts expect oil to trend higher and through the $80 barrier as the deadline for US sanctions approaches.
“Brent is definitely fighting the $80 line, wanting to break above,” said SEB Markets chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop, Reuters reported. “But this is likely going to break very soon.”