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WALPEX TRADING CO. v. YACIMIENTOS PETROLIFEROS

February 1, 1991

WALPEX TRADING CO., PLAINTIFF,
v.
YACIMIENTOS PETROLIFEROS FISCALES BOLIVIANOS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Leisure, District Judge.

OPINION AND ORDER

In a previous opinion in this matter, this Court noted that "[t]his extraordinary case has, over the course of several years, consumed more legal, financial and judicial resources in the litigation of essentially threshold issues than scores of cases that have been filed, resolved and forgotten in this Court during the same time period." Walpex Trading Co. v. Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos, 712 F. Supp. 383, 385 (S.D.N Y 1989). The most recent developments constitute an additional chapter in the saga.

This is a breach of contract action brought by Walpex Trading Company ("Walpex"), an American export company, against Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos ("YPFB"), an instrumentality of the Bolivian government. The Court has jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1330(a) and section 1605(a)(2) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (the "FSIA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1602-1611. See Walpex, supra.

Defendant now moves for summary judgment and dismissal of the case pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Plaintiff opposes defendant's motion and cross-moves for summary judgment on its breach of contract claim. This opinion addresses only defendant's motion.*fn1

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is a New York corporation engaged in international commerce. Defendant is a Bolivian government-owned corporation that purchases supplies for the Bolivian government's national oil program. In or around February 1982, defendant publicly invited bids for the supply of piping to be used by the Bolivian oil well industry. The invitation appeared in Spanish in various Bolivian newspapers. As translated into English, it provided as follows:

INVITATION

PUBLIC BID NO. 120-81

SUPPLY OF: PRODUCTION PIPING

Interested firms hereby are invited to present bids of the supply of:

PRODUCTION PIPING

    The List of Specifications may be obtained from the
  Technical Consulting office of the Materials
  Department, located at the YPFB building, 4th Floor,
  185 Bueno Street.
    Bids with the formal requirements set forth in the
  List of Specifications will be received in the
  Technical Consulting office until 5:00 p.m., March 2,
  1982.

Walpex, supra, 712 F. Supp. at 387 n. 2.

The Specifications referred to in the Invitation provided in pertinent part:

Paragraph 1.0

  The bidding is ruled by the Regulations for
  Acquisitions and Contracts of YPFB, approved by
  Decree Law 16857 of July 20, 1979 and by ...

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