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Participants "Sakhalin-1" almost quarreled overflow

How shifts in the depths affected the relations of Rosneft and partners

The main flow of oil from the northern end of the Chayvo oil field, located off the northeast coast of Sakhalin, was the reason for the trial between Rosneft and the Sakhalin-1 consortium. In the summer of 2018, the state-owned company planned to collect a fabulous sum from the consortium participants - almost 90 billion rubles, but in September the dispute was settled out of court. EastRussia found out how the amount called Rosneft was calculated and how justified the company's claims to the consortium were.

Of participants
In July of this year, Rosneft filed a lawsuit against the participants of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project with the Sakhalin Oblast Arbitration Court, according to which a total of 89,1 billion rubles was demanded. In this amount, Rosneft included unjust enrichment (more than 81,7 billion rubles) for the flow of oil from the northern end of Chayvo to the main part of the field, as well as interest on the use of foreign funds (7,3 billion rubles) added from 2015 to 2018.
The reserves of the Chayvo field are developed by both Rosneft and an international consortium operating under a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), while the license areas of the field developers are strictly divided. What caused the oil flow in this case, and what were the reasons for it?
According to Dmitry Gusev, Director General of ICON Trading, in the case of the development of nearby fields, and even more so the licensed areas of one field, such flows are not only possible, but also to some extent logical.
“The banal law of communicating vessels has not been canceled, and in the case of the development of a conditionally joint“ trap ”with different rates - some more intense, faster, others slower - the flow from one user to another is possible. It can be said that the reasons for this phenomenon were caused by man-made factors, but based on the laws of nature, the expert explains.
According to Dmitry Gusev, such moments are regulated by various models and are coordinated with the licensor and the Ministry of Environment, where there are experts competent in the relevant calculations, since the project economics may depend on their results.
Rosneft was planning to recover by 26,7 billion rubles. from the American company Exxon Neftegaz Ltd, which operates the Sakhalin-1 project, and the Japanese SODECO, which have a 30% in the consortium and 17,82 billion rubles from the Indian company ONGC Videsh limited, as well as from its subsidiaries - Sakhalinmorneftegaz -shelf "and" RN-Astra ", which owns by 20% participation in the project. Claims against the defendants were calculated in proportion to their shares in the Sakhalin-1 project.
Subsequently, Rosneft and the Sakhalin-1 consortium agreed on an out-of-court settlement of the dispute over oil flows and the amount of $ 230 million (about 15 billion rubles) - six times less than the originally named Rosneft.  
“All calculations are based on technological flow models,” explains the general director of ICON Trading, “Accordingly, taking into account the fact that it is physically impossible to calculate how much has actually overflowed, since there is no access to the tanks, it cannot be viewed. Therefore, each builds a model for which calculates the balance. It is logical that the parties use those models that are profitable for them, and other arguments are also used whenever possible. ”
“The issue itself is rather technological, in court there would be a battle not of lawyers, but of technologists and economists, therefore it would be extremely difficult to determine the right decision. It would be a lot of expertise and attempts to prove something that you will never see, - notes Dmitry Gusev. - In general, I think this is an interesting cost recovery mechanism. Whoever has more strength in court will be able to earn some extra money, or cover the costs, if they really were. ”
Also, according to the expert, it is quite possible that this issue was raised only in order to attract the attention of government agencies of one of the parties, which considered itself "offended" and feels more confident within the framework of Russian legislation. 
Rosneft did not respond to the request from EastRussia regarding the settlement of the situation with the Sakhalin-1 consortium. 
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