Commercial Director of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine Yuriy Vitrenko does not rule out bankruptcy in case it loses its dispute with the Russian energy giant Gazprom in the Stockholm Arbitration Chamber, Novoye Vremia magazine reports.
”The state is not liable for the obligations of Naftogaz. Naftogaz will just go bankrupt. Our assets will be auctioned in the process of Naftogaz liquidation, and the creditors will be receiving their money according to a certain queue,” he said.
Vitrenko said that the gas transport system and special permissions for gas extraction are the property of the state, so the assets will not be transferred to Gazprom in the negative scenario of arbitration.
At the same time, the official believes the probability of Nafotgaz losing the case remains low.
According to Vitrenko, Ukraine demands that Gazprom return $17 billion worth of overpayments for natural gas, as well as $12 billion in underpayments for gas transit.
”It`s nearly $30 billion that we demand from Gazprom. Furthermore, we need to understand that the contract expires only in 2019 … Respectively, if we compare how much they would be paid according to the old rates, and how much they must pay at new rates, the difference will amount to $15 billion… If we also take into account the price difference on the supply contract, we will reach some $50 billion,” he said.
Vitrenko also said that Gazprom`s demands to Naftogaz in the Stockholm arbitration stay at $50 billion, but they could grow to $80 billion.
”They demand that we pay nearly $50 billion. This is what, in their opinion, we had to pay and failed to pay for the appropriate amount of gas. If we look to the future, regarding the contract expiration date, there will be an additional $30 billion,” he said.
Earlier, in October-December, the Stockholm Arbitration Chamber held hearings on the gas dispute between Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom on the conditions of the contract signed between the companies in 2009.
The dispute concerned the formula of gas prices, terms of gas payments, and gas transit conditions. The mutual claims of the parties reach tens of billions of dollars. It is expected that Arbitration will take a final decision on the gas dispute in the first half of 2017.