Mamidoil-Jetoil Greek Petroleum Company SA v Okta Crude Oil Refinery AD, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, March 22, 2001, [2001] EWCA Civ 406,[2001] 2 All ER (Comm) 193,[2001] 2 LLR 76,[2001] 2 Lloyds Rep 76,[2001] 2 Lloyd's Rep 76

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Mamidoil-Jetoil Greek Petroleum Company SA v Okta Crude Oil Refinery AD, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, March 22, 2001, [2001] EWCA Civ 406,[2001] 2 All ER (Comm) 193,[2001] 2 LLR 76,[2001] 2 Lloyds Rep 76,[2001] 2 Lloyd's Rep 76

Case No: A3/2000/3337

Neutral Citation Number: [2001] EWCA Civ 406

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE

COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

COMMERCIAL COURT

(Mr Justice Thomas)

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Thursday 22nd March 2001

B e f o r e :

LORD JUSTICE SCHIEMANN

LORD JUSTICE RIX

and

SIR RONALD WATERHOUSE

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(Transcript of the Handed Down Judgment of

Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 190 Fleet Street

London EC4A 2AG

Tel No: 020 7421 4040, Fax No: 020 7831 8838

Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

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Michael Howard QC and Luke Parsons (instructed by Messrs Stephenson Harwood for the Appellant)

Michael Briggs QC and Daniel Lightman (instructed by Messrs Bird & Bird for the Respondent/Cross-Appellant)

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Judgment

Lord Justice Rix:

There are before the court an appeal and a cross-appeal from the judgment of Thomas J reported at [2000] 1 Lloyd's Rep 554. Each of these appeals raises respectively a point of construction on the wording of a contract dated 5 March 1993. Under this contract, the claimant (Mamidoil-Jetoil Greek Petroleum SA or ``Jetoil'') contracted with the defendant (Okta Crude Oil Refinery AD or ``the Refinery'') concerning the ``manipulation'' (which I shall call the ``handling'') of crude oil brought in tankers to Jetoil's facilities at Salonica in north eastern Greece and put on rail for carriage to the Refinery at Skopje in Macedonia. The 1993 contract was operated successfully by its parties down to the end of 1999. There was then disagreement, engendered by the fact that in 1999 the Refinery came under the control of a consortium headed by the group, Hellenic Petroleum, which owned Jetoil's commercial rivals at Salonica, George Mamidakis & Co (``GM''). Hellenic Petroleum, and thus the Refinery, wished to switch their custom for crude oil handling at Salonica from Jetoil to GM.

The 1993 contract

The contract, which for reasons which will become apparent I shall call the ``1993 contract'', provided as follows:

``Today 5.03.1993 in Athens between Skopje Refinery...referred to as ``Refinery'' and Mamidoil-Jetoil...referred to as Jetoil, have agreed the following:

1. The Refinery wants and Jetoil accepts to manipulate via its Salonica Installations the quantities of not heated crude oil that the Refinery will buy and process for its own account in Skopje Refinery.

2. Manipulation under this agreement means receiving the Crude Oil from the vessel, storing in tanks and loading on Rail wagons supplied by the Refinery with destination Skopje Refinery.

3. The manipulation fee is fixed to U.S. $4.00 per MT for the period 1.11.1992 until 31.12.1994. If, however, in a particular calendar year i.e. 1993 or 1994 the min quantity of 500,000 MT stipulated in the ``Three Parties'' contract is covered, then for any quantity over the 500,000 MT manipulated through this agreement a discount of USD 0.50 per MT will be granted.

Jetoil will invoice Refinery on the basis of Customs Protocol Quantity...

5. Both parties agree to elaborate all technical and other details and include them in an Annex which will constitute an integral part of this agreement...

6. Jetoil wishes and Refinery agrees to give to Jetoil first refusal for the purchases of the Crude Oil that the Refinery will make for its own account ...

7. This agreement is valid for 10 years starting from the date of the Signature.''

The Annex referred to in clause 5 contained the following material provisions:

``1. The ten years initial contract term can be amended by mutual agreement for another ten years or for an indefinite period...

5. Any dispute arising under or in connection with this agreement and which cannot be amicably solved shall be referred to arbitration in London, En...

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