Moscow, May 15, 2006. The Court of Appeals in the British Virgin Islands on May 11 issued a final ruling dismissing a lawsuit by Sibir Energy Plc against Sibneft, several affiliated companies and former shareholder Roman Abramovich. The lawsuit concerned the reduction of Sibir Energy's stake in the Sibneft-Yugra joint venture.
Sibir Energy had appealed against a decision from last November by the BVI courts, which ruled that Sibir did not have standing to file suit against some of the defendants, and that the Russian court system was the proper venue for addressing its case against the remaining defendants. The Appeals Court upheld this decision and Sibir Energy will likely be held responsible for all legal costs associated with this lawsuit. The defendants, to date, have won all similar lawsuits filed by Sibir in the Russian Federation.
The conclusion of the BVI case is a key victory for Sibneft in the ongoing legal dispute with Sibir Energy over Sibneft-Yugra, one of the company's most important production assets. Sibneft-Yugra holds a license for the South Priobskoye field, with proven reserves of over 300 million tons of oil. Priobskoye is expected to be a key driver of production growth for Sibneft in the coming years.