In Brief: Rumors of a dispute between Ukrainian and Viennese firms over natural gas surface

By Elizabeth Whitsitt

December 6, 2009

Murmurings that Centragas Beteiligungs Holding AG has accused the Ukraine of violating “an agreement on the Energy Charter” surfaced in mid-November.*

According to press reports, the Viennese firm, which holds a 50% interest in Swiss gas distribution company RosUkrEnergo (RUE), alleges that the Ukranian oil and gas company, Naftohaz Ukrainy, expropriated 11 billion cubic meters of gas belonging to RUE during the first quarter of 2009.  Those sources also indicate that Centragas Holding AG has requested an amicable settlement of the dispute in accordance with Article 26 of the Energy Charter Treaty.  If the dispute cannot be settled within three months from the date on which Centragas Holding AG’s request was made, the parties may find themselves enmeshed in litigation or arbitration.

* “Centragas Beteiligungs accuses Naftogaz of violating Energy Charter,” Ukrainian Journal, 17 November 2009, available at:

“Firtash’s company, as co-founder of RosUkrEnergo, Accuses Ukraine…,” Interfax News Agency, November 17, 2009.