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NEW YORK, September 14. /TASS/. ExxonMobil won’t unveil details of the agreement it reached with Russia over the dispute around the Skhalin-1 project, Suann Guthree, Operations Media Coordinator at Exxon told TASS.
"Exxon Neftegas Limited has reached an agreement with the Russian Federation. Details of the settlement agreement are confidential," she said.
Earlier on Thursday, Russia’s Finance Ministry reported that Russia and ExxonMobil had signed an amicable agreement on September 12 as part of a trial for production sharing in the Sakhalin-1 project.
"The parties reached a mutually beneficial compromise. On behalf of the Russian Federation the agreement was signed by Finance Minister Anton Siluanov," the ministry said.
In April 2015, ExxonMobil lodged a claim to the Stockholm arbitration requiring changes to the interpretation of the Sakhalin-1 project Production-Sharing Agreement (PSA) paragraph on taxes. The company believes its subsidiary Exxon Neftegaz Limited overpaid approximately $500 mln worth of profit taxes within Sakhalin-1. At the time of the PSA signing in the mid-1990s profit tax of 35% was imposed in Russia while in 2009 it was reduced to 20%, but ExxonMobil continued to pay at the earlier level of 35%. Russia believes that PSA terms are not subject to change within its period of validity.
In the spring of 2017, the Finance Ministry announced that the amount of the claims of the company had increased to $637 million, the trial was scheduled for April, but Russia is ready for an out-of-court settlement of the dispute. However, in May the proceedings were postponed.
Earlier, at the 2017 Eastern Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the government had found a solution to the problem with ExxonMobile.
The Kommersant newspaper reported that ExxonMobil may receive a minority stake in a major project with Rosneft if it abandons its claims in the tax dispute with the Russian authorities. Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich later told reporters that the US company's participation in joint projects with Rosneft could contribute to the resolution of the tax dispute over the project.
Sakhalin-1 (Rosneft - 20%, ExxonMobil - 30%, Sodeco - 30%, ONGC - 20%) develops Chayvo, Odoptu and Arkutun-Dagi oilfields, located off the northeastern coast of Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East. Operations and facilities are located on both the island and mainland Russia.