Bashneft, LUKOIL win litigation over Trebs and Titov oil fields license
MOSCOW, January 22 (RAPSI) - The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has overturned a judgment of the Moscow Commercial Court against Bashneft and LUKOIL over the license for the Trebs and Titov oil fields, RAPSI learnt in the court on Thursday.
The commercial court previously ruled in favor of a Bashneft minority shareholder who filed a complaint against the reregistration of the license to Bashneft-Polus, a joint venture between Bashneft and LUKOIL.
Railya Inozemtseva, who holds 10 shares of midsized oil company Bashneft, argued that there were no sufficient grounds for giving the license to Bashneft-Polus as it was in violation of the tender. The claim also contained a statement of loss that would allegedly result from the license transfer.
In December 2014, the Moscow Commercial Court upheld part of Inozemtseva’s complaint but refused to annul the decision of Bashneft’s board to transfer the license to Bashneft-Polus.
Bashneft and LUKOIL subsequently appealed against the court ruling.
In the appeal, Bashneft argued that the plaintiff (Inozemtseva) failed to produce any proof that her rights were impaired in any way, and all the arguments supporting her position were hearsay. A Bashneft representative added that the license transfer would not affect the dividend payments, and that the plaintiff was abusing the right of a shareholder after filing a lawsuit while owning only 10 company shares.
Bashneft was granted the Trebs and Titov Arctic license in the Timan-Pechora Basin in the north of European Russia in 2011 and soon signed a contract with LUKOIL on establishing a joint venture to develop the oilfields.
The license was transferred to Bashneft-Polus (25.1% owned by LUKOIL and 74.9% owned by Bashneft) on December 14, 2011.
However, Russian mineral resources regulator Rosnedra cancelled the transfer on May 18, 2012, because the joint venture had no oil processing facilities. Bashneft-Polus, after a long dispute, gave up the development license in late May.