Global Oil Trader Vitol Wins $158 Million Refund From Targa

Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, won a $158 million refund in a contract dispute with a unit of Targa Resources Corp., according to lawyers for the parties.

Texas state court Judge Larry Weiman is expected to enter a judgment awarding Vitol’s U.S. subsidiary $129 million in contractual damages and $17.7 million in interest after a hearing Friday, Vitol’s lawyer Land Murphy said. Weiman announced his decision Oct. 15 to participants in a five-week Zoom trial conducted without a jury, according to court records.

Vitol sued Targa Channelview LLC in late 2018 to recover prepayments on a seven-year contract for Targa to process crude streams into distillates like jet fuel and diesel because Targa’s custom-built Houston-area facility couldn’t deliver the quantities Vitol had contracted for despite months of retrofitting attempts, Murphy said.

Weiman found Vitol was entitled to a refund under the contract and added $10.6 million for out-of-pocket fraud damages and almost $1 million in additional interest.

Targa’s lawyer, Tim Shelby, said Thursday his client would appeal the ruling. He said the company maintains its contract gave Vitol the right to pull out of the processing deal but not to collect a refund. Shelby also noted that Weiman rejected Vitol’s request for $234 million in additional fraud damages.

The case is Vitol Americas Corp. v Targa Channelview LLC, 2018-90859, Harris County 80th Judicial District (Houston).

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