A court in the Netherlands has ordered Russia to pay more than $50 billion in damages to the former shareholders of the now-defunct Yukos oil corporation, which was torn apart in a dubious bankruptcy case almost 10 years ago. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said it would award GML group just under half of its $114-billion claim to help compensate for losses incurred when the Kremlin expropriated Yukos in 2005. Yukos was slapped with federal tax debts and sold at bankruptcy auctions a year later, while its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was sentenced in 2005 to 10 years in prison on charges of tax evasion and fraud. Russia will appeal the Dutch court’s ruling.
In the US, a Pennsylvania appeals court issued a split decision on the state’s oil and gas law, rejecting some challenges to the 2012 update to the drilling rules but affirming the rights of municipalities to regulate the location of oil and gas development. State regulators can be required to notify public water suppliers but not private water well owners of drilling-related spills. It also upheld the law’s limits on what doctors can disclose about proprietary chemicals used in the gas extraction process and its endorsement of public utilities’ ability to use eminent domain to take property for gas storage facilities.
A Texas court ordered US Marshalls to seize $100 million in Kurdish oil cargo from a tanker off the coast of Galveston,…