There have been updates on the international arbitration process between Norwegian oil and gas company African Petroleum Corporation Limited and Republic of The Gambia in ICSID.
We must read the updates in a certain order to understand what they actually mean. At least that’s how I interpret them.
The first update applies to case number 17/38, but in effect applies to case number 17/39 and 17/40 as well. The following was announced on June 7, 2018:
“The Tribunal issues Procedural Order No. 1 consolidating ICSID Cases African Petroleum Gambia Limited and APCL Gambia B.V. v. Republic of The Gambia(ICSID Cases No. ARB/17/38), African Petroleum Gambia Limited and APCL Gambia B.V. v. Republic of The Gambia(ICSID Cases No. ARB/17/39), and APCL Gambia B.V. v. Republic of The Gambia (ICSID Cases No. ARB/17/40).”
The Procedural Order No. 1 simply means that the aforementioned cases will be bulked together and handled simultaneously.
Taking a look at cases 17/39 and 17/40, ICSID announced on June 7, 2018 an Outcome of Proceeding. The outcome reads as follows:
“The Tribunal issues a procedural order taking note of the discontinuance of the proceeding pursuant to ICSID Arbitration Rule 43(1).”
What is Rule 43(1)?
Settlement and Discontinuance
43(1) If, before the award is rendered, the parties agree on a settlement of the dispute or otherwise to discontinue the proceeding, the Tribunal, or the Secretary-General if the Tribunal has not yet been constituted, shall, at their written request, in an order take note of the discontinuance of the proceeding.
African Petroleum Corporation Limited has been very clear since the dispute with The Gambia regarding oil blocks A1 and A4 begun last year. They will defend its blocks and have stated on several occasions that the Government of The Gambia is wrong in both law and fact.
As we have seen from Rule 43(1), African Petroleum Corporation Limited and The Gambia has agreed on a settlement of the dispute or otherwise to discontinue the proceeding.
Given African Petroleum Corporation Limited’s firm and resolute statements that they will defend their rights in The Gambia with necessary means, I come to the conclusion that what we have here is a settlement of the dispute. And one that is satisfactory to African Petroleum Corporation Limited.
As always, these are just my thoughts. Do your own due diligence and do not base your investments on anyone’s analysis but your own.