Samsung Heavy Industries Co. said in a regulatory filing on March 27 that Petrobras America Inc. has filed a damage lawsuit against it over excessive charter fees for a drillship built and delivered in 2011.
Petrobras America is a U.S. subsidiary of Brazil’s state-run oil and gas company Petrobras International Braspetro B.V.
Samsung Heavy Industries built and delivered a drillship to U.S.-based shipowner Pride Global Ltd. in 2011 under the US$640 million (727.23 billion won) agreement signed in 2007. Petrobras America signed a separate five-year charter contract with Pride Global on the drillship in the same year.
Petrobras America said, “We paid excessive charter fees for the drillship because part of the brokerage fee paid by Samsung Heavy Industries to the commissioner when signing the drillship delivery contract with Pride Global was misused. As a result, we suffered US$250 million (284.13 billion won) of losses.”
Commission fees are generally paid to a broker between the shipbuilder and ordering entity when signing a shipbuilding contract.
In this regard, an official from Samsung Heavy Industries said, “Samsung Heavy Industries is not the parties immediately interested in the charter contract signed between Petrobras America and Pride Global and has not engaged in the process of signing the charter contract. A considerable part of what has been claimed by Petrobras America is based on weak grounds, and it does not lie within the company’s field of responsibility. Samsung Heavy Industries will actively counter the legal action by forming a legal and technology advisor group consisting of experts from home and abroad.”