NJSC “Naftogaz” has been trying to involve American courts to the proceeding with “Gazprom” to recover $2.6 billion, which were awarded by Stockholm Arbitration.
“Naftogaz” has sued the American unit of Gazprom Marketing & Trading (GM&T USA), which is the part of “Gazprom group”, and DeGolyer & MacNaughton consulting company (leading auditor of oil and gas reserves) in North and South Texas district courts.
Both defendants have Texas registration. The case was filed on December 6.
The aim of the case is to oblige GM&T USA and their auditor DeGolyer & MacNaughton to provide the information, which will enable the company to sue case in Netherlands.
In this new case of “Naftogaz” is going to challenge the transaction, in which “Gazprom” transferred shares of “Turkish Steam” pipeline operator registered in Netherlands to Russian subsidiary. It was the reason why Ukrainian side was unable to arrest these shares. Writes the Russian edition of "Kommerasant."
“Naftogaz” has been trying to forcibly recover $2.6 billion from “Gazprom” pursuant to decision Stockholm Arbitration. These attempts are implemented in Switzerland, Great Britain and Netherlands.
In Netherlands, in particular, “Naftogaz” wanted to arrest “Gazprom’s” shares of 7 companies: South Stream Transport B.V. (operator of “Turkish Steam”), Gazprom Achim B.V., Gazprom EP International B.V., Gazprom Finance B.V., Gazprom Sakhalin Holdings B.V., Blue Stream Pipeline Co. B.V. (operator of “Blue Steam”) and Gazprom Holding Cooperatie U.A.
Amsterdam court approved arrest on May 30, but only for Blue Stream Pipeline Co.
NJSC’s case pointed out, that Blue Stream’s employee showed the bailiff the register of shareholders of the company, which included “Gazprom”, before “the company's manager snatched the paper from the bailiff's hands”. The remaining six companies refused to show the register, and on June 1, five of them (except South Stream Transport) testified before the court with allegations that Gazprom is not their shareholder.
In case of South Stream Transport 100% of shares were transferred from “Gazprom” direct ownership to subsidiary “Gazprom transgaz Krasnodar”.
“Naftogaz” lawyers held it happened a day before the Amsterdam court approved to arrest “Gazprom’s” assets in the country. As a result, “Naftogaz” could not arrest “Gazprom’s” other assets in the Netherlands, apart from its stake in “Blue Stream”, because it did not prove that they know for sure who the new owners of other companies are and the owner of South Stream Transport is in Russian jurisdiction.
According to “Gazprom’s” reports for the third quarter, owners of other structures in Netherlands are companies with Russian registration.
“Neftegaz” is going to sue the “Gazprom” in Netherlands to obtain that the transfer of South Stream Transport shares to the Russian structure is an attempt by the debtor to withdraw assets from arrest.
In their term, the press service of "Naftogaz" refused to comment on the lawsuit in a US court.
“Guided by company’s interests, we have not commented on information about the courts in Texas yet. We will repeat one more time that “Naftogaz” uses all available legal methods to ensure the full implementation of the decision of the Stockholm arbitration”, the company said.
On Wednesday evening, sueing an American court was confirmed by the executive director of “Naftogaz”, Yuri Vitrenko,
“The United States is not the last jurisdiction where “Gazprom” faces problems. Until they pay us the full sum. And if “Gazprom’s” unfair actions to evade enforcement of court decisions are confirmed, they will be brought to justice”, wrote Vitrenko on his Facebook page.
“Naftogaz” executive director also emphasized that “Gazprom” has no legal basis not to pay us on this decision, Vitrenko noted.
It should be reminded that in spring, “Naftogaz” began the process of collecting a debt of $ 2.6 billion from foreign courts in “Gazprom” in pursuance of the decision of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. Earlier, the Stockholm arbitration court awarded a payment of $ 4.7 billion to “Naftogaz” by “Gazprom” under a transit contract. According to the results of two arbitration disputes between the companies for the supply and transit of gas, “Gazprom” is obliged to pay NJSC $ 2.56 billion.