Republic of Congo in Landmark Arbitration Win Dismissing $178 Million Claim

January 11, 2006

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented the Republic of Congo in an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration commenced in 2003 by Gulf Resources Corporation, a Panamanian corporation.

The arbitration arose from a May 1994 agreement to sell 5 million barrels of crude oil from Congo to Gulf Resources. Citing the terms of the agreement, Gulf Resources sought delivery of 3.6 million barrels, which it claimed remained to be delivered, or alternatively the market value of the 3.6 million barrels at the prevailing market price, then totalling $178 million.

The Republic of Congo asserted that the agreement was fraudulent because it had been entered into as part of a corruption scheme involving a former Minister of Oil of Congo. The ICC Arbitral Tribunal upheld Congo’s defense that the agreement was null and void as a result of bribery and dismissed Gulf Resources’ entire claim.