Supreme Court turns down Bashneft shareholder’s appeal over oil fields license ruling
MOSCOW, September 10 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Supreme Court refused to review an appeal filed by Bashneft minority shareholder, Railya Inozemtseva, against the ruling over the license for the Trebs and Titov oil fields.
In December 2014, the Moscow Commercial Court ruled in favor of a Inozemtseva, who holds 10 shares of midsized oil company Bashneft, who filed a complaint against the reregistration of the license for the Trebs and Titov oil fields to Bashneft-Polus, a joint venture between Bashneft and LUKOIL. In late January, the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals overturned the judgment of the commercial court.
In July 2015, an appeal over the rulings was filed with the Supreme Court of Russia.
Inozemtseva 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.