Archive for February 12th, 2013


Another hydrocarbon claim against Ukraine to be ruled upon in March

February 12, 2013

Way back in 2007, Tatneft filed a claim against Ukraine for $520 million – a figure that has subsequently been increased to $2.5 billion.

The issue revolves around a company called Ukrtatneft which owns and operates the Kremenchuk oil refinery in Poltova – a situation created back in 1994 by the then Presidents of Ukraine and Tartastan.

Of course things are not as transparent as they appear.  The stake in the Kremenchuk refinery was owned by companies “close to Tatneft” to the size of 18.3%, the Property Ministry of Tartarstan owned 28.8% and Tatneft itself directly owned 8.5%.

Naturally Tatneft is not entirely owned by those in Tartarstan either.  Gazprom does, or did, have a significant stake in Tatneft, and who knows who owns what amongst the shareholders of the companies that are “close to Tatneft”.

It came to pass that through litigation in and around 2005/6/7, the Tatneft shares were all-but reduced to being worthless and Privat Group assumed their stakeholder position.  The ownership of Privat Group naturally contains some of Ukraine’s richest oligarchs – predominantly the Jewish ones such as Bolholyubov, Martynov and of course Ihor Kolomoyskyi.

Yes indeed, more hydrocarbon shenanigans, this time under the Yushenko/Tymoshenko governance – a political reward for Kolomoyskyi’s backing them throughout the 2004/5 disputed presidential elections possibly?

Anyway, this matter is due before the International Court of Arbitration in the Hague between 18th and 28th March.  One has to suspect another large bill heading Ukraine’s way over historically bad practice in the energy arena combined with political patriarchal expediency once again.

Whether it will get much, if any, media coverage remains to be seen.

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