5 Jul 2023 15:46

Antimonopoly Committee allows Ukrnaftoburinnya to be transferred to management of Ukrnafta

MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) - The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) on June 29 gave permission for the transfer of one of the largest privately owned gas producers, PJSC Ukrnaftoburinnya (UNB), to the management of the state-owned PJSC Ukrnafta, Ukrainian media reported, citing Forbes Ukraine, which quoted a Ukrainian government source.

The UNB press service confirmed this to the publication. The company's shareholders plan to appeal against the decision in international courts.

The AMCU website says that the committee decided on June 29 to grant permission to accept shares in four companies for management without naming them.

This could refer to PJSC Ukrnaftoburinnya, LLC Sakhalinskoye, LLC Sirius-1 and LLC East Europe Petroleum. Ukrnafta signed agreements in the middle of June with the National Agency for Recovery and Management of Assets (ARMA) on the management of corporate rights seized from four companies that carry out production at the Sakhalinskoye gas condensate field, the country's biggest.

The Ukrnafta press office said it would reveal the AMCU's decision once it had received official notification.

The court in the spring of 2023 seized the corporate rights of LLC Sakhalinskoye, LLC Sirius-1 and LLC East Europe Petroleum as they developed the Sakhalinskoye field in breach of the law, and transferred them to ARMA. Later, the corporate rights of Ukrnaftoburinnya were seized, in particular, 44.989% held by Deripon Commercial Ltd of Cyprus, 22.4996% held by Ariana Business Ltd and Ares Systems Ltd, both from the UK, and 10% of JKX Ukraine B.V. of the Netherlands.

Vitaly Khomutynnik said in August 2016 that he owned Deripon on an equal footing with Igor Kolomoisky.

Criminal proceedings established that officials of PJSC Ukrnaftoburinnya, LLC Sakhalinskoye, LLC Sirius-1 and LLC East Europe Petroleum, NJSC Nadra Ukraine, Ukrainian Geological Survey and PJSC Devon in the period 2000-2023 amended a number of agreements on joint activities for the commercial development of the Sakhalinskoye field, damaging state interests.

A government order dated May 23 consented to the proposed transfer to Ukrnafta by ARMA and the Defense Ministry of the management of assets in the first of the four aforementioned companies.

The Sakhalinskoye gas condensate field in the Krasnokutsky district of Kharkov region, discovered in 1981, is the largest in Ukraine, with reserves of 15 billion cubic meters. UNB has been developing the Sakhalinskoye field since 2010. The company's gross production was 725.4 million cubic meters of gas and 80,800 tonnes of oil and condensate in 2020, and 691.3 mcm and 76,600 tonnes in 2021.

The Sakhalinskoye field as a whole produced 844.3 mcm of gas and 86,000 tonnes of oil and condensate in 2020 and 789.5 mcm and 80,800 tonnes in 2021.

Ukrnafta had 89 fields with 23 million tonnes of proven reserves and 1,806 active oil wells and 152 gas wells as of the end of March 2023. The company operates 537 filling stations, of which 28 have been modernized; their sale this year are expected to reach 350,000 tonnes, or about 7% of the market. Wholesale and retail in petroleum products amounted to 1.665 million tonnes in 2022.

Ukrnafta plans to increase oil production 5.8% to 1.45 million tonnes and gas 0.3% to 1.04 billion cubic meters in 2023.