10 November 2020
Nigeria recently won at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute in a long-standing case (since 2013) commenced by United States companies, Interocean Oil Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company (together, “Interocean”).
In a 122-page award dated 06 October 2020 (Award), the arbitral tribunal in Interocean v Nigeria dismissed Interocean’s claims and awarded costs in favour of Nigeria.
For Nigeria, the win is a welcome relief, a loss and Nigeria could have been confronted with yet another award-debt of potentially billions of dollars, especially considering the raging post-arbitration battles over an earlier, unrelated award – the P&ID award.
Despite Nigeria’s win, certain aspects of the Award will be of interest and concern to foreign investors in Nigeria and the Nigerian State.
This article, in addition to presenting an overview of the Award, briefly discusses aspects of it that potentially impact the frontiers of investor-state claims against Nigeria.