The court confirmed the recovery of 7.9 billion rubles from the Lukoil terminal

MOSCOW, 30 Sep — PRIME. The Arbitration Court of the North-Western District (St. Petersburg) agreed with the lower court, which collected about 7.9 billion rubles from the company controlled by Lukoil, Varandey Terminal (Nenets Autonomous District), at the suit of Bashneft-Polyus.

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As follows from the information in the file of arbitration cases, the district court rejected the cassation complaint of the Varandey Terminal against the decision of the Fourteenth Arbitration Court of Appeal.

In June, the Court of Appeal, having considered the plaintiff’s complaint, changed the decision of the Arkhangelsk Region Arbitration Court, adopted in February, which exacted a little more than 2.6 billion rubles from the defendant in a claim for 9.5 billion rubles. The Court of Appeal also satisfied the claims in part, but significantly increased the amount of the penalty.

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In this lawsuit, a joint venture between Bashneft (74.9%) and Lukoil (25.1%) demanded compensation for losses from January 1, 2015 to January 19, 2020, when they were inflated, as established by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) Russia, the tariffs for oil transshipment at Varandey are $38 per ton.

The Varandey Terminal challenged the FAS decision on violating the antimonopoly law, but the courts of four instances, including the Supreme Court, agreed with the agency. In October 2019, the FAS included Varandey in the register of natural monopolies and approved the maximum transshipment tariff from January 20, 2020 – 1,211 rubles (about $16 at the exchange rate on the date of the decision) per ton.

The Supreme Court noted that the $38 price had been set since 2013, when it included the cost of a loan raised to build the terminal. By 2015, the company repaid the loan, but did not reduce the tariff. Given the growth of the dollar, the court noted, she received excess profits, and Bashneft-Polyus turned out to be the injured party.

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Bashneft-Polyus calculated the amount of the claim for damages as the difference between the actual cost of transshipment at a price of $38 and the economically justified cost of transshipment of all oil consignments. The justified tariff calculated by the plaintiff ranges from 843 rubles per ton in 2016 to 1076 rubles in 2018. The court of first instance considered that throughout the entire period the tariff of 1,211 rubles per ton was fair – the ruble equivalent of $38 in 2013. The court also decided that in order to recover damages from 2015 to October 2017, the plaintiff missed the statute of limitations. The Court of Appeal did not agree with the omission of the limitation period and included this period in the calculation of damages.

Bashneft-Polyus is developing the Trebs and Titov fields in the NAO. The oil produced there is delivered to the Varandey offshore ice-resistant offloading pier, owned by Lukoil. From there, the raw material is shipped to Sovcomflot ships, which transport it along the Northern Sea Route.

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