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Colombia’s Ecopetrol Unit Asks New York Judge to Freeze CB&I Assets

BOGOTA, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Refineria de Cartagena (Reficar), a refinery belonging to Colombia’s majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol (ECO.CN), has asked a New York federal judge to freeze certain assets of CB&I, a McDermott International subsidiary, it said on Thursday.

Reficar sought arbitration in March 2016 over a dispute with CB&I, accusing it of doubling construction costs during the renovation of the refinery and failings in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in June ordered CB&I to pay more than $1 billion to Reficar, plus interest gains from Dec. 31, 2015, after the tribunal ruled in the refineries favor in a long-running dispute.

The decision by CB&I’s parent company McDermott to begin restructuring processes for liabilities in courts in Britain and the Netherlands is an attempt to eliminate its outstanding debt to Reficar, the refinery said, adding it considered the move a ploy to ignore the ruling handed down by the ICC.

McDermott did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters.

Reficar said its request to the New York judge is a protective measure, adding that it has also asked for an order that CB&I publish evidence of its finances.

In Houston, Reficar has petitioned a judge to order McDermott directors testify in court, it added.

“The company will continue to work with its global team of lawyers and expert advisors to defend its interests and those of Colombia,” Reficar said.

Source : reuters