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The highest court of Ukraine rejected a claim filed by the Russian firm Gazprom, which challenged an anti-trust ruling made by the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMU) this week.
The Supreme Court upheld a decision by the committee to fine the gas giant $3.4 billion for abusing its dominant position in Ukraine’s gas transit market.
“Having considered the grounds set forth in the claim [submitted by Gazprom] and analyzed the materials attached to it, the panel of judges finds the claim groundless," court documents say.
The Ukrainian government backed the AMU’s ruling, which stood in line with related charges filed by the European Commission against the same company for taking undue advantage of its market power in Central and Eastern European countries, violating the European Union's antitrust regulations.
Gazprom lost an appeal in the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine in July. At the time, the $52 billion company described the ruling as a “great surprise.”
“This decision can only be seen as an attempt to put pressure on Gazprom in the higher courts,” the company said in a statement after the decision went public.
Ukraine has been mitigating Russian influence in Kiev by building new energy partners in Europe over the past two years.
Direct Russian gas exports to Ukraine fell from 14.5 to 6.1 billion cubic meters in 2015, or some 58 percent.
EU gas consumption is lower than expected, but rising. Conversely, EU gas production is experiencing marked declines. Norwegian output is expected to shrink some 7 percent following record output in 2015.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…