Ukraine to sue Russia for seizing Crimean oil, gas assets: PM

Kiev (Platts)--14 May 2014 640 am EDT/1040 GMT

Ukraine will file a lawsuit to an international court of arbitration in Stockholm against Russia for its seizure of a Crimea-based oil and gas company, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said Tuesday.

Russia moved to occupy and to annex Crimea in March, making the Black Sea peninsula a Russian territory. Ukraine, the US, EU said the annexation was illegal.

"Russian annexed Crimea," Yatseniuk said in comment released by his press service late Tuesday. "Russia seized Ukrainian property that is worth tens and even hundreds billions of dollars."

One of the assets taken over by Russia is the state-owned oil and gas company Chornomornaftogaz, which is producing about 2 billion cubic meters of gas annually, he said.

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"It stole the oil and gas fields, companies, offshore and onshore drilling rigs. We will meet Russia on this matter in the court," Yatseniuk said.

Chornomornaftogaz is a former upstream subsidiary of Ukraine's state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrayiny, and mostly supplies gas to local consumers in Crimea.

It operates a total of 17 deposits offshore the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, including 11 deposits producing natural gas, four producing gas condensate and two deposits producing oil.

ChornomorNaftoGaz increased natural gas output by 40.6% to 1.651 Bcm in 2013, up from 1.174 Bcm in 2012, and was on track to increase gas output to 3 Bcm in 2015.

--Alexander Bor,
--Edited by Jonathan Dart,

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