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Force Majeure and Bunker Supply Contracts: It’s Complicated

April 27, 2020

Ship & Bunker
By Martyn Lasek

A sudden and severe drop in oil prices has prompted talk of whether counterparties will look to default on bunker supply contracts put in place just a few months ago when prices were at their highest. Some believe that the risk to the industry is negligible, as the few not protected by an adequate hedging strategy are instead protected under the concept of force majeure.

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While this may be true for some stakeholders, it will not be the case for all. As explained to Ship & Bunker by maritime lawyer Robert E. O’Connor, New York Office Managing Partner at Montgomery McCracken, it’s complicated.

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