Vessel owners and charterers brought about protective interpleader proceedings in the U.S. and Singapore after becoming the target of competing claims by third-party suppliers of fuel, OW entities, and ING.
Some suppliers had tried to enforce maritime liens directly against vessels, whether or not the vessel owners or charterers had settled their accounts with the OW Bunker entities.
In New York, the suppliers argued that the Court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate on the maritime lien claims.
In drawing on U.S. legal precedent, the court on July 2 called the contractual and vessel claims "alternative procedural devices to obtain the same relief."
The judge emphasized that the third-party suppliers were effectively attempting to jump the queue of OW creditors by proceeding directly against the vessel to collect the amounts owed.
It also found that the claims had the same obligation for the payment of fuel and were "inextricably interrelated."
ReadSmith notes that "the judge emphasized that the third-party suppliers were effectively attempting to jump the queue of OW creditors by proceeding directly against the vessel to collect the amounts owed, even though there were claims by other creditors directly competing on the very same legal basis."
But on April 25, the Singapore court, which focused more on the technical equivalence of the claims, concluded that ING's claim for payment and the third-party supplier claims were different, "did not concern the same debt and, as such, could not be the subject of an interpleader application," according to ReadSmith.
ReadSmith says the conflicting decisions "illustrate the difficulty that comes from a bankruptcy in which contractual claims and maritime lien claims interact."
It also acknowledged "the added complexity that comes from differences in the governing laws of different jurisdictions hearing similar proceedings."
Skangas duel fuel LNG carrier Coral Energy (image credit/Skangas)
Liquified natural gas (LNG) bunker tanker Coralius has made its first trip loading and delivering LNG to and from Norwegian ports, according to trade press reports.
The 5,800 cubic meter capacity tanker, which is owned by Norwegian gas company Skangas, was delivered to the company in June. Skangas also operates LNG carrier Coral Energy.
OPEC Cutback Extension to be Discussed in November, But Developments Could Render Any Deal Meaningless
Analysts say everything from Saudi exploration to rising tensions with North Korea could radically alter the dynamics of the international market. File Image / Pixabay
Ever since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) extended the duration of its production cuts earlier this year to March of 2018, speculation has been rampant that the meager cutback volume coupled with the large number of members