17:48 18.03.2014

Crimea to hand over Chornomornaftogaz to Russia's Gazprom - deputy CEO

The Crimean authorities intend to hand over Chornomornaftogaz to Russia's Gazprom whose specialists have effectively taken the company under their control, Chornomornaftogaz Deputy CEO Volodymyr Plechun said.

"First Chornomornaftogaz will undergo nationalization, a new enterprise will be organized that will receive all the licenses to develop the Black Sea shelf in Crimea. Then it will become a Gazprom business unit," Plechun told Forbes, citing Crimea's First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev.

Already a group of Gazprom representatives, including its head of business development, is working at the Chornomornaftogaz head office, he said.

"They instantly started studying documents and established control. According to Muscovites themselves, the addition of the shelf and Chornomornaftogaz will increase Gazprom's capital by $50 billion. They are appraising the Black Sea shelf around the Crimean peninsula at the Caspian level," the Chornomornaftogaz executive representative said.

Neither Naftogaz of Ukraine, nor the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry, nor the Ukrainian security authorities did anything to retain control over Chornomornaftogaz, its assets and documentation, he said.

Earlier, the manager of energy programs at Nomos Center Mykhailo Honchar said that in the case of Chornomornaftogaz ' acquisition by Gazprom, Ukraine must ask the international arbitration to order the return of the company's assets or the arrest of other assets of Russian companies abroad.

The peninsula's continental shelf, the assets of the state-owned joint-stock company Chornomornaftogaz and the state-owned Feodosia oil terminal are now the property of Crimea, the State Council of the Republic of Crimea (the former Supreme Council) declared.

Chornomornaftogaz develops the Ukrainian shelves in the Black and Azov Seas. The company also produces hydrocarbons in the Crimean fields and runs the Hlibovske underground gas storage facility and the gas mains located on the peninsula. The company is fully owned by Naftogaz Ukraine.

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