Offshore Africa and Force Majeure: The Tale of the West Leo Rig
The ruling of the English High Court in Seadrill Ghana Operations v Tullow Ghana (2018) may be of interest to multinational exploration and production companies with operations in contested African waters, according to an article published in African Law & Business.
“The decision provides guidance on the interpretation and application of force majeure clauses,” write John Gilbert, Damian Watkin and Robert Meade.
The judge, Mr. Justice Teare, concluded that whilst the drilling moratorium constituted a force majeure event for the purposes of the contract, the drilling plan rejection did not. Consequently, he found that Tullow was not prevented or delayed in fulfilling its obligations by a force majeure event and Tullow was not, therefore, entitled to terminate pursuant to the force majeure clause.