Bashneft Polus challenges revocation of Titov and Trebs deposits licence in court13 June 2012
The Bashneft and Lukoil LLC Bashneft Polus joint venture has filed a suit against Rosnedr (Federal Subsoil Resource Use Agency) for annulment of the revocation of the Titov and Trebs deposits licence.
The preliminary hearing for the case is scheduled for 28 June at the Arbitration Court in Moscow. The court refused the application from Bashneft Polus for suspension of order No. 589 to revoke the licence until the court decision comes into force. In late May, Lukoil and Bashneft sent a letter to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev requesting restoration of the LLC Bashneft Polus licence for work at the Trebs and Titov fields.
The licence for this field until December 2011 belonged to Bashneft, and then was re-issued to Bashneft Polus. In 2011, Lukoil bought from Bashneft 25.1% of Bashneft Polus shares for $4.8 billion, the main asset of which was a licence for the deposit. Lukoil owns the entire infrastructure in the field: the power plant, tankers, and the pipeline to the Varandey oil export terminal.
Minority shareholders of Bashneft challenged the Rosnedr order on reissuing the licence to Bashneft Polus. On 18 May 2012, Rosnedr annulled its order for the transfer of the licence for Trebs and Titov deposits to Bashneft Polus due to the fact that they had "discovered irregularities in the issue of the licence," and returned the licence to the parent company, Bashneft.
The Trebs and Titov deposits in the Nenets Autonomous Area are among the largest continental explored deposits in Russia. The total reserves are estimated to be 140 million tons of oil. Commissioning of Trebs and Titov fields is scheduled for late 2013 - early 2014.