An archive of the key court rulings in the Tristangate dispute.
Dutch Court Grants a US$ 5.2 billion Attachment of Kazakhstan’s Stake in the Kashagan Oil Field
The Amsterdam District Court grants a US$ 5.2 billion asset attachment of Kazakhstan’s stake in the Kashagan oil field, held via the sovereign wealth fund JSC Samruk-Kazyna’s (Samruk-Kazyna) 50% shareholding in the Dutch entity KMG Kashagan B.V., as an enforcement measure under the award.
The Kashagan oil field is one of the largest offshore oilfields in the Caspian Sea. The international consortium that has developed the field includes Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, China National Petroleum Corporation, and Inpex.
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The Court Of Cassation of Luxembourg concludes that the lower court incorrectly examined evidence in the award enforcement proceedings, and decides that the case should be re-heard by a different panel of judges at the Luxembourg Court of Appeal. The attachments of Kazakhstan’s assets in Luxembourg remain in place.
Magistrate Bowler of the United States District Court in Boston has affirmed her Report and Recommendation which finds that State Street Corporation, asset manager for one of Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth funds, should be compelled to produce certain documents, emails, details of SWIFT payments and other financial records relating to the management and custodianship of Kazakhstan National Fund assets.
The Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation was originally issued in November 2020, but State Street did not immediately comply and instead sought clarification and reconsideration.
The Luxembourg District Court stays proceedings on the validity of the attachments of various Kazakh state assets obtained by the Stati Parties pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings initiated by Kazakhstan in Luxembourg. The attachments in question are estimated to be worth US$550 million and include Kazakhstan’s 40% shareholding in Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and frozen dividends owed by ERG to Kazakhstan among further receivables. In the meantime, the attachments continue to remain fully in place as a security measure under the award.
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands sets aside the Amsterdam Court of Appeal’s decision on the attachment of Kazakhstan’s stake in the international consortium developing the Kashagan oil field, held via Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, and refers the case back to a lower court (the Hague Court of Appeal) for further consideration. Meanwhile, the Kashagan shares attachment, valued at $5.2 billion, remains fully in place.
The federal district court in Washington, D.C. compels Kazakhstan once again to provide discovery of its assets on a worldwide basis – including assets of various Kazakh state instrumentalities such as NBK and Samruk-Kazyna.
The Judge also rebukes Kazakhstan and its legal counsel for the breaches of the previous U.S. court orders regarding discovery:
“Don’t get me wrong, the Republic of Kazakhstan had every right to litigate the petition to confirm the arbitral award, and they had every right to appeal my decision. But those proceedings are over. These are post-judgment proceedings. And the Republic of Kazakhstan and its counsel needs to get that into their heads because the level of intransigence that we’ve seen to date is not acceptable and it officially ends today.”