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Russia's Energy Ministry to challenge court decision in dispute with Rosneft

August 18, 2015, 11:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW

It oncerns the dispute with the ministry over customs privileges

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© ITAR-TASS/Ivan Zhuravlev

MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Energy Ministry will challenge the decision of the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals, which settled the claim of state oil company Rosneft in its dispute with the ministry over customs privileges, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

On Monday, the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the first instance court, which had dismissed the lawsuit against the Energy Ministry’s refusal to approve low export duties for oil produced at the Verknechonskoye oil field in Eastern Siberia in 2012 and 2013.

The field is operated by Verkhnechonskneftegaz (VCNG), a subsidiary of Rosneft.

A study of the effectiveness of VCNG activities by Rosneft revealed that in the period between January 2012 and May 2013, the authorities required VCNG to pay high export duties on oil produced at Verknechonskoye oil field. But at that time the field was on the list of the deposits, which were subject to customs privileges.

Under the Russian law a company has the right to claim refund of overpaid export duties in three years from the date of payment.

In May 2014 Rosneft asked to the Energy Ministry to confirm the documents proving oil production at the Verknechonskoye field in January 2012-May 2013.

In December 2014, the Energy Ministry refused to confirm the documents due to technical reasons.

In January 2015, VCNG turned to the Energy Ministry and the Federal Agency for Subsoil Usage with the confirmation of oil production at the oil fields. The ministry and the agency refused to confirm the fact of oil productions saying that VCNG submitted its request when the term for it had expired.

Rosneft turned to court saying that the refusal of the ministry and the agency violated the rights and legal interests of the parties concerned.

A representative with the Energy Ministry told TASS that the amount of compensation on export duties may reach 60 bln rubles ($913 mln). Rosneft did not officially name the sum it had overpaid on export duties.

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