Press Room

ZRP Wins International Arbitration Award for Romania against Chevron

Bucharest, February 5th 2018 - Zamfirescu Racoți & Partners Attorneys at Law (ZRP) recently obtained a substantial verdict in favour of the National Agency for Mineral Resources (Agenția Națională de Resurse Minerale - ANRM) against Chevron. The arbitration award rendered under the Rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Paris established Chevron’s obligation to pay an amount of USD 73,450,000 plus interest (at the level of the reference rate of the National Bank of Romania plus 8% per annum from 23 October 2014 until the date of full payment) and legal costs.

The dispute arose in connection with the manner of achieving the obligations resulting from three petroleum agreements concluded between ANRM and Chevron in March 2011. More precisely, the central core of the dispute was related to the obligations comprised in the Minimum Exploration Program and the necessity to pay to ANRM the value of the works not performed at the moment when the petroleum agreements were relinquished.

The team of attorneys was coordinated by dr. Cosmin Vasile (managing partner) and included Alina Tugearu (partner), Monica Strimbei (managing associate) and Cosmin Cojocaru (managing associate).

In international arbitration cases, in general, and in the field of energy, in particular, the situations in which the claims of a party are fully admitted are extremely rare. Our professional satisfaction is even greater as we find ourselves in such a situation, with the claims of the Romanian party being fully admitted and the claims of the adverse party being totally rejected.

The solution obtained is also important in the light of the manner in which the legal issues were settled, confirming the legitimacy and soundness of ANRM's position regarding the interpretation of contractual and legal provisions regarding the minimum exploration obligations and the consequence of relinquishing the petroleum agreements without fulfilling the financial obligations.

Although the core argument involved a specific legal issue, the arbitral case covered a wide range of disputed issues relating to the Petroleum Law, petroleum concession agreements for exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources (including unconventional resources such as shale gas), various factual details about the concrete manner of fulfilling contractual obligations during the period 2012 - 2014, as well as technical aspects regarding the petroleum operations undertaken by the title holder" said dr. Cosmin Vasile of Zamfirescu Racoti & Partners.