Great Elephant v Trafigura Beheer BV and Others — force majeure, foreseeability and FOB Incoterms

Ince & Co recently represented Vitol Asia and Vitol SA before the Court of Appeal in the matter of the Crudesky. The case arose out of the loading of a cargo of crude oil in late August/early September 2009 at the Akpo FPSO Terminal off the coast of Nigeria, which is operated by Total. The key facts, as summarised by the Court of Appeal, were as follows.

China Offshore Oil (COOSI) sold and Vitol Asia bought a parcel of one million barrels of Akpo Condensate for delivery FOB at the terminal. Shortly thereafter, Vitol Asia sold the same quantity on the same terms to Vitol SA, who in turn on-sold the cargo to Trafigura, also on FOB terms.

Trafigura nominated the Crudesky (the vessel), which it had already chartered from Great Elephant Corporation as disponent owners, on an amended BP Voy 3 form…

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