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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Surgutneft Sues Transneft For $7.2M Over Oil Losses

The nation’s No. 3 oil firm, Surgutneftegaz, is demanding that state-run oil pipeline monopoly Transneft pay it 200 million rubles ($7.2 million) for 63,000 tons of oil that Transneft "lost" in its pipes.

Surgutneftegaz is trying to get compensation through the Moscow arbitration court. A Surgutneftegaz representative said Wednesday that Transneft, which has had the right to trade oil since 1995, used Surgutneftegaz’s oil for its own ends.

This is the first time such a claim has been made against Transneft.

Oil companies lose a small quantity of their crude during transportation due to accidents and leaks.

Transneft’s agreement with the oil companies stipulates that such losses are not subject to reimbursement.

The pipeline company calculates the expected losses each year, based on Fuel and Energy Ministry norms.

If the actual losses turn out to be greater than this amount, then Transneft must reimburse oil companies by returning the excess oil or paying its cost.

Surgutneftegaz received such compensation for losses made between 1995 and 1998.

In November 1999, however, Transneft conducted a review of all its transport systems and reported that Surgutneftegaz had, in fact, lost nothing and demanded that the compensation be returned, a Transneft representative said.

Surgutneftegaz appealed to the ministry in an attempt to resolve the issue. Transneft rejected mediation by ministry officials and in March 2000 informed Surgutneftegaz that it had taken the oil from its pipelines.

Transneft representatives have appealed the case in court, but were unable to provide supporting evidence.

The hearing was postponed until Sept. 27.