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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Gas litigation has swept across Europe

In 2022, six foreign energy companies initiated arbitration proceedings with PJSC Gazprom. This is stated in the Russian gas giant’s report for the past year, which provides details of ongoing and completed litigation.

It should be noted that lawsuits on gas issues have literally swept across Europe. PJSC Gazprom was opposed by: Italy’s Eni, Germany’s RWE, Poland’s PGNiG, Finland’s Gasum Oy, France’s Engie and Ukraine’s NJSC Naftogaz. All “suddenly” needed something from Russia.

Thus, in September 2022, NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine demanded payment for “services not rendered” in connection with the agreement on the transportation of blue fuel through the territory of Ukraine dated December 30, 2019. In this case, the Ukrainian side has decided to make the Russians responsible for the fact that from May 11, 2022, GTS Operator of Ukraine LLC suspended the acceptance and further supply (transit) of Russian gas through the Sokhranivka GIS, invoking a case of force majeure. GTS Operator of Ukraine LLC has announced that it is transferring all gas flows to Sudzha’s GIS. The Sokhranivka GIS accounted for up to 30% (32.6 million cubic meters per day out of 109 million cubic meters per day) of the transit supplies of this Russian energy raw material that passed through Ukraine. The decision has not yet been made by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.

In November 2022, the German RWE initiated two arbitration proceedings in the context of a gas supply contract.

In turn, in November 2022, the Stockholm arbitration refused the Finnish Gasum Oy to satisfy its claims. Now the Finns have to pay the resulting debt of more than 300 million euros for the gas supplied and related to the non-fulfilment of the obligation to take or pay, as well as default interest.

In May 2022, Italian Eni started arbitration proceedings against Gazprom Export due to its reluctance to pay in rubles.

In January 2022, the French Engie sent a notification to the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce regarding the initiation of arbitration proceedings against Gazprom Export LLC regarding the revision of the price of the supply contracts gas. The French did not pay for all the supplies.

According to reports, the hearings in the Engie case are scheduled for March 18-23, 2024, with Eni for May 13-17, 2024.

On March 31, 2022, the Polish PGNiG (now PKN Orlen) initiated arbitration proceedings by a special (ad hoc) arbitral tribunal under UNCITRAL rules against PJSC Gazprom and LLC Gazprom export, demanding the recovery of interest on the amount of the retroactive payment by the defendants based on the arbitration award dated March 30, 2020, as well as interest on the amount of such interest. On November 16, a planning hearing was held. Defendants are required to submit their position by February 13, 2023 and the plaintiff must submit their responses by April 24, 2023.

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