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Monde Petroleum v WesternZagros Ltd

18th Jan 2018

[2018] EWCA Civ 25

Gavin Kealey QC was successful again in the Court of Appeal, this time leading Tom Sprange QC and Ruth Byrne of King & Spalding LLP on behalf of WesternZagros Limited, a Canadian headquartered oil and gas company doing business in Kurdistan.  The issues concerned the attempts of WesterZagros Limited to obtain an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (“EPSA”) with the Kurdistan Regional Government, which was not only to be formally ratified by the Kurdistan Regional Government but, also, was to enjoy formal support from the Government of the Republic of Iraq.  The two issues that arose for determination were of construction: the meaning of the phrase “fully operational and enforceable” in respect of the EPSA, specifically whether, in order to be “fully operational and enforceable”, a letter of support from the Federal Government was required; and secondly whether, if a fully operational and enforceable EPSA (whatever that might be held to mean) could not be procured within a certain time limit, the right conferred on WesternZagros to terminate the relevant contract had to be exercised immediately and, if not so exercised (as it was not), was lost forever.  The Court of Appeal (Longmore, Hallett and Singh LJJ) found in favour of WesternZagros on both issues.

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