16 Mar 2023 14:07

Gazprom in arbitration proceedings with ENI, Engie, RWE, PGNIG, Gasum, Naftogaz - report

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) - Several foreign partners commenced arbitration with Gazprom in 2022, the Russian gas giant said in a report.

Ukraine's Naftogaz has requested arbitration against Gazprom at the International Chamber of Commerce's International Court of Arbitration. Naftogaz is demanding payment for services not rendered by it under an agreement on the provision of services for the transportation of natural gas through the territory of Ukraine dated December 30, 2019. On September 27, Gazprom sent letters of objection regarding arbitration's jurisdiction to consider the demands of Naftogaz due to a fundamental change in circumstances. On February 15, 2023, Gazprom was notified by the ICC secretariat about a decision by the ICA to allow the arbitration tribunal to consider the case on the merit. Gazprom currently has no information as to whether an arbitration tribunal has been formed.

Finland's Gasum Oy on May 13, 2022, notified Gazprom Export LLC that arbitration proceedings had commenced on the termination of the contract for natural gas supply dated March 12, 1994 and the cancellation of obligations to pay invoices previously served to it. A ruling was issued on November 14, 2022. Gasum's claims and Gazprom Export's counterclaims were partially satisfied. The arbitration tribunal, among other things, ordered Gasum Oy to pay Gazprom Export LLC debt of more than 300 million euros for gas supplies and in connection with the failure to honor a take or pay obligation, as well as interest for payment arrears. In addition, the tribunal recognized the issuance of a Russian presidential decree No. 172 dated March 31, 2022 on the transition to payment for gas in rubles as a force majeure circumstance under the contract and confirmed the legitimacy of the suspension of natural gas supplies in the event the buyer fails to pay in rubles in accordance with the Decree No. 172. The tribunal also ordered the parties to continue negotiations on the contract in order to resolve the situation with further gas supplies.

RWE Supply & Trading GmbH on November 3, 2022, notified the ICC International Court of Arbitration about the initiation of two arbitration proceedings under the framework contract for the supply of natural gas based on the General Agreement for the Supply and Acceptance of Natural Gas with the European Federation of Energy Traders Association, concluded on January 30, 2020, as well as the Framework Agreement for the Sale of Natural Gas, concluded on February 27, 2019. Gazprom Export LLC on January 16, 2023 sent responses to notices on the commencement of arbitration proceedings.

PGNiG, now PKN Orlen, on March 31, 2022, notified Gazprom about the initiation of arbitration proceedings by an ad hoc tribunal under UNCITRAL rules against PJSC Gazprom and Gazprom Export LLC, claiming interest on a retroactive payment made by the respondent pursuant to the award dated March 30, 2020, plus additional accrued interest. An arbitration tribunal was formed. On November 16, 2022, an organizational hearing with the tribunal took place. The respondents raised a defense on February 13, 2023 as part of the first phase of the arbitration process to decide on the jurisdiction of the tribunal to consider the dispute. PKN Orlen S.A. has until April 24, 2023 to respond.

Italy's Eni on May 20, 2022, notified Gazprom Export LLC about the commencement of arbitration proceedings on the issue of non-application of the Russia Presidential Decree No. 172 of March 31, 2022 on a special procedure for the fulfillment by foreign buyers of obligations to Russian suppliers natural gas to relations between the parties or provision of Eni with additional contractual guarantees in connection with the application of the decree to the relations of the parties. Hearings are to be held on May 13-17, 2024. Gazprom has filed a plea for an extended duration of proceedings.

France's Engie on January 26, 2022 notified the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce about the commencement of arbitration proceedings against Gazprom Export LLC regarding the revision of the price under contracts for the supply of natural gas. Gazprom Export LLC's response to the notification of the commencement of arbitration proceedings, as well as a counterclaim, were sent to the Arbitration Institute on April 1, 2022. An arbitration tribunal was formed. Hearings are due March 18-23, 2024.