Closure of Morocco’s Samir Refinery Propels BP to Pay $68 Million to Abu Dhabi Bank

The London High Court ruled that the British Energy company, BP, pays $68.9 million to the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) in a case originating from the sudden closure of Morocco’s Samir refinery in 2015.

BP “sold a cargo of crude to Samir in August 2014 which was not paid for and NBAD took on 95 percent of that debt,” Reuters reported.

The court ruled that BP did not have a right to pass on the debt without the consent of Samir, and must pay $68.9million.

Last August, production at Samir came to a halt due to overdue debt and unpaid taxes. A court ruling placed it in liquidation and named an independent trustee to run it.

Creditors of Morocco’s sole refinery, Samir, are putting on the table the alternative of converting the massive 43-billion-dirham debt ($4.55 billion) into shares, a move that entails giving creditors a say in the board of trustees.

Morocco’s tax administration has since frozen the company’s bank accounts in pursuit of a 13 billion-dirham ($1.3billion) tax claim.

The closure of Samir, with a production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day, would make the country entirely reliant on imports. At just under 300,000 barrels per day, Morocco’s petroleum consumption is Africa’s fifth largest, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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