Friday, February 7, 2020

Total and Royal Dutch Shell Reject Chinese Declaration of Force Majeure on LNG Contracts

As related in another context  in 2011:
I'm reminded of a situation I watched back in the day. A trader sold a position to another firm a few minutes before a trading halt. The news was negative. The buyer D.K.'ed (Don't Know) the trade, meaning we'd still own the position, at which point the head of the firm got on the phone and told his counterpart "I don't want the shit, whyd'ya you think I sold it to you?"
From Bloomberg via gCaptain, Feb. 7:

China LNG Force Majeure Rejected as Virus Chaos Sparks Dispute
Two of Europe’s biggest energy companies rejected a Chinese force majeure on liquefied natural gas contracts in the latest twist to a drama that’s gripping global commodities markets.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA didn’t accept the legal grounds for the move by China National Offshore Oil Corp. that would have freed it from its contractual obligations to take delivery of the shipments, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

While CNOOC is still likely to cancel delivery of the prompt cargoes, suppliers will probably seek compensation from the Chinese firm, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

CNOOC made the dramatic move as it struggled to take delivery of LNG because of constraints caused by the virus, which include a lockdown of more than 50 million people in more than a dozen cities. It was one of the first known cases of the legal clause being invoked in commodity contracts due to the epidemic, which has plunged raw materials markets into chaos.

Other Chinese firms, including PetroChina Co. and Sinopec Group, are mulling invoking force majeures on contracts, but haven’t officially declared yet. PetroChina was forced to delay discharge timings for multiple cargoes because it can’t get enough workers to its Rudong, Dalian and Caofeidian LNG terminals to run them at full capacity....MORE
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