Covid-19 — A Contractual Nightmare

Arun Subash, Legal Counsel for Oil and Gas - E&P, Reliance Industries Limited, India

While COVID-19 (previously known as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’) has engulfed the entire world and authorities have been desperately implementing umpteen measures to contain the spread of this pandemic; from a contractual perspective, COVID-19 has caused an interpretational nightmare which may blow up into costly arbitration or re-negotiation of contractual terms. One of the crucial concerns that can be raised by contracting parties is whether COVID-19 is a ‘Force Majeure event’ after all. If it is a ‘Force Majeure event’, then what happens in the case where a particular industry is declared ‘Essential Services’ by government and is allowed to continue performance of its activities; in such a scenario, whether any contractual party from such an industry can invoke ‘Force Majeure’ and seek an excuse from performance of its contractual obligations. This article intends to throw light on such issues and many more potential issues that could emanate in Construction Contracts (offshore and onshore) from the unprecedented COVID-19 situation.

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India Contract Energy May 2020 Vol.13, No. 51, Spring 2020

Arun Subash

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Arun Subash is an In-house lawyer of Reliance Industries Limited, with more than 13 years’ experience in handling complex and high value commercial contracts in the Oil and Gas Industry.

Reliance Industries Limited

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Reliance Industry Limited is an Indian Multinational Conglomerate and a Fortune 500 Company, having strong presence in energy, materials, retail, entertainment and digital services.

India Contract Energy May 2020 Vol.13, No. 51, Spring 2020
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