‘Crude Sky’ — Great Elephant Corporation v Trafigura Beheer

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This judgment considers the law on the Sale of Goods Act implied terms of right to sell and quiet possession and the law on force majeure.

Robert Bright QC and Jessica Sutherland acted for Trafigura in its successful appeal from the judgment of Teare J of 27 June 2012. The dispute related to a chain sale of crude oil from Nigeria.

In breach of local regulations, Total, the operator of the Akpo oil terminal, commenced the loading of the vessel CRUDESKY without the presence of a representative of the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources (DPA), because it believed that the irregular loading had been verbally authorised by the DPA’s local office in Port Harcourt. In fact, written authorisation, which was what was required, had not been given by the DPA’s Headquarters in Lagos…

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