ARBITRATION TRIBUNAL: AWARD IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION BETWEEN KUWAIT AND THE AMERICAN INDEPENDENT OIL COMPANY (AMINOIL)
March 24, 1982
Copyright (c) 1982 by The American Society of International Law, Washington, D.C.
INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW AND ARBITRATION:
Leading Cases from tke ICSID, NAFTA,
Bilateral Treaties and Customary International Law
This case summary was prepared in the course of research for S Ripinsky
with K Williams, Damages in International Investment Law (BIICL, 2008)
The Government of the State of Kuwait v The American Independent Oil Company
(‘Kuwait v Aminoil’)
Kuwait Oil history
"On February 22nd, 1938, oil was discovered in the Burgan field of
Kuwait. The Kuwait desert had long stood witness to several strange
black patches of a rough bituminous substance; but it was not until the
matter was investigated in 1935 did it become apparent that the wealth
of Kuwait had remained underground for years, and was yet to be
"...On December 23rd, 1934, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah signed a
document that was to increase his country's wealth and international
importance: the first Kuwait Oil Concession Agreement was awarded to
Kuwait Oil Company Limited. Kuwait Oil Company, Ltd. was formed by the
Gulf Oil Corporation (presently Chevron Oil) and the Anglo-Persian Oil
Company (presently British Petroleum)."
"A new era of historic importance began on 6th December 1975 with the
Nationalisation of Kuwait's oil industry. In line with all the other
Arab oil-producing states, Kuwait began negotiations in the early 1970s
to restore control over its own natural oil resources. By mutual
agreements with the Company's two original partners, the State's
shareholding in Kuwait Oil Company was progressively increased until
full control was achieved. On March 5th, 1975, an agreement was signed
by the State of Kuwait and the two oil companies (British Petroleum and
Gulf) giving Kuwait complete control of its oil resources."
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