Dana Gas and partners seek damages from Kurdish Regional Government

01 June 2017

Pearl Petroleum has filed petition in US court

UAE-based Dana Gas and its investment partners in Iraq are seeking damages of at least $26.5bn from the self-governing Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) for unpaid invoices and delays in oil and gas projects.

Dana Gas and its partners in the Iraqi ventures, called Pearl Petroleum, have filed a petition in a US federal court seeking recognition and enforcement of awards made in litigation in the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) against the KRG. The filing is part of long-running legal proceedings between the two parties, which could result in the seizure of KRG and oil and gas assets, according to an article posted on the website of Pearl Petroleum.

Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum, another UAE-based oil and gas exploration firm, owns a 70 per cent stake in Pearl Petroleum while Austria’s OMV, Hungarian energy group MOL, and Germany’s RWE each have a 10 per cent shareholding in the company, according to its website.

The dispute centres on the Khor Mor and Chemchemal gas fields in southeast Kurdistan, which Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum have been developing since 2007. The creation of Pearl Petroleum as an investment vehicle with international partners in 2009 resulted in a rift with the KRG and subsequent delays to projects and payments to Pearl Petroleum.

Pearl Petroleum commenced arbitration proceedings in 2013 with the LCIA. In 2015, the court ruled in favour of Pearl Petroleum and has so far awarded about $2bn for unpaid invoices and other awards in smaller amounts, which Pearl Petroleum has yet to fully receive.

In the final phase of Pearl Petroleum’s arbitration against the KRG, the LCIA is expected to determine the amount of financial damage the firm has suffered, in terms of unpaid invoices and the thwarted development of Khor Mor and Chemchemal since 2009, which Pearl Petroleum said in the court filing were estimated at $26.5bn.

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