Moscow, August 7 - Neftegaz.RU. According to Nikkei, Exxon Mobil has filed for international arbitration in a lawsuit lodged by Rosneft, which accuses the U.S. petroleum major and its 4 partners of reaping illicit gains related to the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project in the Far East.
The subsidiary Exxon Neftegas turned to the International Court of Arbitration on behalf of all the accused parties the same day that news of Rosneft's suit was received last month, according to sources including India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. - a partner on the Sakhalin-1 project.
The move appears aimed at avoiding any favoritism Rosneft might receive from the Sakhalin court where it filed suit in July. The project is primarily led by foreign partners - a rarity in Russia. Rosneft seeks 89.1 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) from Exxon, ONGC, Japanese public-private venture Sakhalin Oil and Gas Development and 2 of Rosneft's own subsidiaries.
Rosneft alleges that the Sakhalin project drains crude oil from a neighboring deposit the Russian company is developing.
Exxon and the Japanese venture, also known as Sodeco, each own 30% stakes in Sakhalin-1, while ONGC holds another 20% and the 2 Rosneft units control the remaining 20%. The Court of Arbitration is part of the International Chamber of Commerce.