Bangladesh has won a landmark verdict against Chevron in an international court for investment that saved its state-run Petrobangla corporation around USD 240 million following a decade old dispute with the US energy giant, officials said here today.
They said the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of the World Bank today announced the verdict after one half hears of hearing rejecting the Chevron claims that Petrobangla illogically deducted the amount over the years from its earnings from gas sales.
The three member ICSID Tribunal in London unanimously rejected Chevron's claim "on the merits" of the case.
"This was the first case when Bangladesh won against an IOC (International oil company," an energy ministry spokesman told PTI.
Petrobangla has been deducting 4 per cent wheeling charge from its payments to Chevron for the purchase of gas from northeastern Jalalabad gas field imposing a wheeling charge since the company used the state-run corporation's pipeline to transmit gas to the main national gas grid.
Petrobangla has also been deducting the same percentage for use of its pipeline in Chevron’s Bibiyana and Moulavibazar fields.
Chevron declined make any comment immediately but an official of the oil giant said they were likely to issue a statement on the development yesterdays.
Petrobangla officials said the US company earlier declined settle the dispute in a Bangladeshi court as the dispute arose in 2006 and sought to refer the disagreement to ICSID.
Bangladesh, however, had lost a nearly identical case in 2002 with British oil company Cairn, which, however, unlike the Chevron was drilling from an offshore block in Bay of Bengal.
Petrobangla attributes its defeat at that time on its "poor legal representation".