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First Gazprom/Naftogaz arbitration ruling pushed back to end-May: source

Highlights

* Transit ruling still due at end-June
* Combined company claims now up to $75 billion
* Outcome closely watched by European gas market

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The ruling from the Stockholm court of arbitration regarding the first gas dispute case between Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz Ukrayiny is now expected only at the end of May, a source close to the matter said Friday.

The ruling in the case surrounding the supply and pricing of Russian gas to Ukraine since 2009 had been expected by the end of April.

A court decision in a second case related to the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine to Europe is still due at the end of June.



Last week, Naftogaz gave a final update on the value of the total claims -- the Ukrainian company is pursuing compensation of some $30 billion while Gazprom's claims now amount to some $45 billion.

The bulk of the claims -- two thirds of the Naftogaz total and effectively all of Gazprom's -- relate to the supply and pricing of Russian gas to Ukraine since 2009.

In the case, Gazprom is arguing that Naftogaz failed to lift contractually agreed minimum annual volumes of Russian gas and that it did not pay for the gas it did not lift. Naftogaz argues the take-or-pay obligations were unfair.

Gazprom is also arguing that Naftogaz is in its debt for certain periods as the contract prices were set according to the agreed oil-indexed formula in the contract, but Naftogaz paid what it considered to be the market price.

Naftogaz argues it overpaid for gas from 2010-14 because oil-linked contract prices were so much higher than the traded market prices in Europe.

In the second case, Naftogaz is claiming more than $10 billion in damages because Gazprom allegedly underpaid for transit of Russian natural gas to Europe and also failed to transit sufficient volumes of gas via Ukraine in breach of ship-or-pay obligations.

--Stuart Elliott, stuart.elliott@spglobal.com
--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com

** Download S&P Global Platts comprehensive report, "Gazprom vs Naftogaz: Gas war to be settled in Stockholm?", published in March, which includes more analysis of the dispute and its implications for the European gas market, at http://plts.co/vK0T30b9hj7