Four Royal Dutch/Shell Group companies have started legal proceedings to prevent the U.S. Maritime Administration from selling three LNG tankers the group claims are subject to an exclusive option between Marad and Shell. The Shell action, in the District of Columbia federal court, coincides with rejection of a claim by Argent Marine Cos. against Marad's decision to end an agreement to sell the vessels to Argent. Argent also is challenging Marad's decision in the District of Columbia federal appeals court (OGJ, Apr. 2, Newsletter). After negotiations among Shell, Argent, and Marad, three Argent subsidiaries acqui...

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