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EOG, CDA in land dispute
A multimillion-dollar lease dispute is brewing between the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) and EOG Resources Trinidad Ltd (EOG). Sunday Guardian learnt that the issue in contention involves properties situated at Second Avenue South, Chaguaramas. EOG is alleging that in 2009, the CDA agreed to grant a lease to Halliburton Trinidad Ltd on the basis that a sublease would be granted to the EOG.
However, the CDA is claiming otherwise. Evidence of the dispute is stated in a June 29 letter sent to the CDA’s chief executive officer Joycelin Hargreaves from EOG’s senior division counsel Lisa Gosine-Alleyne. Contents of the letter stated: “In 2009, the CDA agreed to grant a lease to Halliburton with the clear understanding that a sublease would be granted to EOG. This was overtaken by a decision of the board of the CDA early in 2012, which agreed to grant a lease to EOG in its own right.
“The facts and events which support and establish this position are set out in several letters from EOG to the CDA dated May 22, 29, and on June 1 and 8, as well as the letters to the CDA from Third Party Inspection Ltd dated June 11, Halliburton dated June 20, and Repsol T&T dated June 22.”
Gosine-Alleyne further stated that based on the agreement, EOG expended some $13 million in 2010 for the refurbishment and enhancement of the premises, which it has been occupying since 1994. Noting that EOG is entitled to maintain a claim against the CDA for the sum on the basis of an unjust enrichment, Gosine-Alleyne further stated: “EOG has noted that notwithstanding the above, the CDA entered into negotiations with a third party for the grant of a lease to it of the very premises occupied by EOG.” The company added that it was in the process of mobilising a drilling campaign along the east coast in excess of $800 million.
CDA: We have no lease with EOG
But CDA chairman Danny Solomon yesterday told Sunday Guardian that he was unaware of any such agreement. And in an immediate response, Hargreaves issued a release stating the company’s position. The release stated: “CDA wishes to categorically state that at this time there is no agreement for lease between the CDA and EOG Resources or any other party. EOG Resources wishes to continue its occupancy of the property. Another party has made an offer to lease the property and the authority has engaged in negotiations with both parties.” Hargreaves further stated that negotiations have been favourable in respect to one of the parties, subject to working out some technicalities.
Bhoe: People only want favours
Confirming the dispute yesterday, line minister Bhoe Tewarie said Halliburton was a tenant of the CDA, however, the company had vacated the premises. “The EOG had a sublease with Halliburton with the CDA and they have now requested a lease with CDA for the same piece of land. The matter came up to the board and I asked the chairman for them to submit an offer for a lease which would be satisfactory. The problem is nobody wants fairness, everybody wants a favour. If they met the terms, then there would be agreement,” the minister said.
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