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 Brussels Court of Appeal has rejected Kazakhstan’s challenge to a $530 million attachment of assets held via its National Fund with BNY Mellon in Brussels.
The asset attachment, originally at a value of $22.6 billion, is an enforcement measure against Kazakhstan’s continued failure to pay more than $500 million awarded to the Stati Parties by a Swedish arbitral tribunal in 2013. The Stati Parties later agreed to limit the attachment to $530 million, reflecting the approximate value of the Energy Charter Award at the time. The attachment value has since grown with interest to over $540 million.
The Amsterdam District Court denied a $118 million damages claim brought by the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) against the Stati Parties.
NBK claimed it had suffered severe losses after rulings in a Dutch court and a Belgian court in 2017 led to the attachment of sovereign assets held by BNY Mellon worth $22.6 billion.
The court dismissed the claim in its entirety, arguing that “in this case there is no question of an unlawful attachment leading to risk liability,” and that “it cannot be held that the Stati parties abused their powers”. It also ordered NBK to cover the Statis’ legal costs.
Lawyers acting for Argentem Creek Partners filed a motion in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to dismiss Kazakhstan’s suit, as well as a separate motion to compel Outrider to submit its claims to arbitration.
Kazakhstan’s claims are identical to issues raised in previous proceedings, the motion to dismiss argues, noting that these were already litigated and decided in other courts. The motion to compel arbitration is based on the grounds that the Sharing Agreement signed between Tristan’s noteholders in 2012 mandates the use of arbitration to resolve differences rather than filing of complaints in the American courts and that all noteholders agree to arbitrate when they purchase notes. Outrider, who decided to join Kazakhstan earlier this year in backing the fictional fraud claims, is a signatory to the Sharing Agreement.
In a letter, lawyers acting for Argentem Creek Partners request dismissal of Kazakhstan’s civil complaint filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against the firm and its CEO. They argue that the case is part of Kazakhstan’s continuing attempts to re-litigate the SCC award despite the rejection of its fraud allegations by courts around the world, including the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Argentem Creek Partners file a notice to transfer Kazakhstan’s complaint against the firm and its CEO to the Southern District Court of New York on the grounds that a U.S. federal court is better suited to provide judgment.