Oil Major Sister Vessel Arrest
- Date: 30/04/2009
A ship agent arranged for the towage of an oil major’s rig through the Suez Canal. The oil major considered the cost to be high and refused to pay for the service. Agents in the Suez Canal have a bond with the Suez Canal Authority. If a shipowner does not pay for a service while transiting the Canal, the monies are immediately withdrawn from the ship agent’s bond. After several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the matter and secure payment, the agent contacted ITIC to pursue the debtor. Initially, ITIC’s messages met with no response. The oil major was the registered owner of several oil rigs and drilling ships. However, these are usually very difficult to arrest due to their lengthy stays at sea and the infrequency with which they call at port. Accordingly, the Club located a sister rig that was due to arrive in Durban for repairs. After coordinating efforts with our local correspondents, the agent and South African lawyers, the Club arrested the sister vessel in Durban, pursuant to the maritime lien created by the unpaid Suez Canal dues. Within twelve hours the debt was paid in full.