Wellington, April 21 NZPA - Todd Energy is claiming victory in a long running dispute with Shell (Petroleum Mining) about the operation of the Maui gas field.
Shell had applied to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal a Court of Appeal decision on who should be the operator of the Maui field.
Shell had wanted to remove Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) -- in which Shell and Todd each hold 50 percent -- as the Maui operator and replace it with a Shell subsidiary.
The effect of an Appeal Court decision in December had been that the status quo was maintained at the Maui field.
Last week the Supreme Court dismissed Shell's application for leave to appeal and made an order for costs of $2500 to Todd Energy.
Today Todd Energy issued a statement in which managing director Richard Tweedie said STOS would continue as Maui operator and the uncertainty that Shell's "attempted takeover" had generated for the field owners and for STOS staff was over.
The Supreme Court decision ended litigation that started in April 2005, he said.
"The Supreme Court's decision is a comprehensive victory for Todd Energy and I am very pleased that this long running saga is now at an end," he said.
Shell spokeswoman Jackie Maitland said Shell was disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a judgment preventing the STOS board from voting on resolutions that would resign STOS as the operator of Maui.
It continued to be business as usual for STOS as operator of Maui, she said.
In their Supreme Court judgment Justices Peter Blanchard, Andrew Tipping and John McGrath said they had not been satisfied there was any general commercial significance in the issues proposed to be brought to the Supreme Court.
The dispute did not have any element of public importance, nor did the Court of Appeal's judgment contain any error both so patent and so significant as to give rise to a miscarriage of justice in the context of a civil appeal, the Supreme Court said.
"Indeed, our impression, for what it is worth, is that the proposed appeal would have little prospect of success, although we do not determine the leave application on that basis."
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