23 Jun 2022 15:29

CPC to contest appeals ruling to uphold fine of 5.3 bln rubles for sea terminal oil spill

MOSCOW. June 23 (Interfax) - Caspian Pipeline Consortium-R will continue to contest a fine of 5.285 billion rubles for damages caused by a spill at its sea terminal, the consortium said in a statement.

"Caspian Pipeline Consortium, being a law-abiding company, will execute the court ruling and pay the penalty within the statutory time. Further on, CPC intends to stand its ground on arbitration within the legal framework," it said.

CPC again requested that the court carry out forensic examination. It also submitted to the court its versions of estimating the spilled oil volume as a value having direct impact upon the amount of penalty, which were based on hydrodynamic models, mathematical calculations, water sample tests, scientific research of oil solubility in sea water etc. However, the court in its session on June 23 resolved not to grant the request and leave the ruling of the court of first instance in force.

The Krasnodar Territory Arbitration Court fully satisfied a claim by Russian environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor to recover 5.285 billion rubles damages from the company from a spill at the sea terminal. The 15th Arbitration Court of Appeal upheld this decision on June 23, dismissing a CPC appeal.

A Rosprirodnadzor lawyer said during the appeal hearing that the mass of oil that got into the water body was determined using the tracks of the enterprise, taking into account the calculations in accordance with GOST, which do not imply the calculation of fuel already pumped. He also said he doubted the consortium could have started pumping oil within an hour due to a storm on the day of the accident. The watchdog's position was supported by the transport prosecutor's office, confirming the validity of the methodology for calculating the volume of the oil spill.

Rosprirodnadzor calculates that 384 tonnes of oil spilled into the water but CPC says not more than 69.1 tonnes could have got in.

As reported, on August 7 last year, oil seeped at the consortium's Marine Terminal in Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka while loading the Minerva Symphony tanker, which operates under the Greek flag and is based at the port of Piraeus, at single point mooring No. 1. Rosprirodnadzor sued CPC for 5.285 billion rubles damages to the water area on February 25. The court took only two sessions to satisfy the claim, on April 27, rejecting requests by CPC to delay the case and conduct a forensic examination. The CPC filed its appeal on May 24.