In a rare move, a major German energy giant is taking on the Kremlin. Wintershall Holding GmbH, one of the largest independent oil and gas companies in Europe, has filed a lawsuit against Russia for seizing its assets. The company’s legal action marks the first time a foreign business has taken Russia to court over
In a rare move, a major German energy giant is taking on the Kremlin. Wintershall Holding GmbH, one of the largest independent oil and gas companies in Europe, has filed a lawsuit against Russia for seizing its assets. The company’s legal action marks the first time a foreign business has taken Russia to court over seized assets since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. It also highlights how German businesses are increasingly willing to challenge Russian interests, particularly in energy sector disputes. In this article, we will explore the details of Wintershall’s lawsuit and what it could mean for other companies doing business with Russia.
Wintershall AG is a German oil and gas company
Wintershall AG is a German oil and gas company and a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF. The company has been active in the exploration and production of natural gas and crude oil since its foundation in 1967. In 2016, Wintershall produced around 160 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), making it Germany’s largest producer of hydrocarbons.
The company is headquartered in Kassel, Germany, and has approx. 3,800 employees worldwide. Wintershall focuses on the exploration and production of natural gas and crude oil in Europe, South America, North Africa as well as Russia.
In 2014, Wintershall increased its activities in Russia with the acquisition of a 20% stake in the Achimov IV/5 field in Urengoyskoe license area from Gazprom Neft. The total investment volume for this project amounts to around EUR 1 billion. With these activities, Wintershall wants to help Gazprom Neft develop one of the world’s largest undeveloped natural gas resources – the Achimov formation in West Siberia.
In July 2018, however, Gazprom Neft announced that it would be taking full control of the project after acquiring Wintershall’s 20% stake. This was despite an agreement between the two companies that had previously stated that any changes to ownership structure would need to be mutually agreed upon.
As a result of Gazprom Neft’s actions, Wintershall filed a lawsuit against the Russian company
The company has filed a lawsuit against the Russian government over the seizure of its assets in Crimea
In 2014, the Russian government seized Wintershall’s assets in Crimea as part of its annexation of the peninsula. The company has been fighting to get its assets back ever since, and it has now filed a lawsuit against the Russian government.
Wintershall is a German energy company that is majority-owned by BASF, the world’s largest chemical company. It is one of the leading natural gas producers in Europe, and it has significant operations in Russia.
The seizure of Wintershall’s assets in Crimea was a major blow to the company, and it has been fighting to get them back ever since. In 2016, it filed a claim with the International Court of Arbitration, but that was rejected by the Russian government.
Now, Wintershall is taking its case to a German court, and it is reportedly seeking damages of around €1 billion. This is a bold move by the company, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
The company is seeking compensation for the losses it has incurred
Wintershall, the German energy giant, has filed a lawsuit against the Kremlin seeking compensation for the losses it has incurred as a result of the seizure of its assets in Russia.
The company is seeking damages for the loss of its investment in the Bazhenov oil field, which was seized by the Russian government in 2014. Wintershall had invested billions of euros in the development of the field, but was forced to abandon the project after the seizure.
In addition, the company is seeking compensation for the losses it has incurred as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union and United States. These sanctions have prevented Wintershall from developing its business in Russia, and have caused it to incur significant financial losses.
The company is also suing for damages caused by the arrest and detention of its CEO, Rainer Seele, in Russia in 2016. Seele was released after several months in jail, but his arrest and detention caused great harm to Wintershall’s business.
The case will be heard in an international court
As the German energy giant Wintershall prepares to file a lawsuit against the Kremlin over the seizure of its assets in Russia, the case will be heard in an international court.
This is a significant development, as it could set a precedent for other companies that have had their assets seized by the Russian government.
The case will focus on whether or not the Kremlin’s actions were lawful, and whether or not they complied with international law.
It is expected to be a lengthy and complex case, but one that could have far-reaching implications for both Wintershall and other companies doing business in Russia.
The outcome of the case could have implications for other foreign companies doing business in Russia
The case between German energy company Wintershall and the Kremlin is being closely watched by other foreign companies doing business in Russia. If Wintershall is successful in its lawsuit, it could set a precedent that would make it easier for other companies to recoup losses from assets seized by the Russian government.
The case centers on a dispute over two oil fields in Siberia that were seized by the Russian government in 2014. Wintershall had been operating the fields under a joint venture with Gazprom, but the Kremlin nationalized them after Western sanctions were imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.
Wintershall has since been trying to negotiate a compensation deal with the Russian government, but has so far been unsuccessful. The company decided to file a lawsuit in an international arbitration court in 2017, seeking $5 billion in damages.
A ruling is expected sometime this year, and whatever the outcome, it is sure to have implications for other foreign companies doing business in Russia.