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MOL seeks ICSID arbitration against Croatia in gas price dispute

Jun 24, 2024, 5:24:28 PMArticle by Annie Tsoneva
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June 24 (SeeNews) - Hungarian energy group MOL, the largest single shareholder in Croatian oil and gas company INA [ZSE:INA], said it has filed an arbitration request against the government in Zagreb over damages it had suffered as a result of being forced to sell domestically produced gas for a small fraction of the market price to state-owned power utility Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP).

MOL seeks ICSID arbitration against Croatia in gas price dispute
Source: MOL

Those measures, introduced by the government in Zagreb, had been in force on the Croatian gas market in 2022 and 2023, MOL said in a press release on Saturday, without disclosing details of its claim.

By the time this story was published, MOL has not responded to an email by SeeNews asking about the value of the claim.

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) registered on Thursday a request for arbitration proceedings by MOL against the Croatian economy ministry, according to the website of the Washington-based court, which is part of the World Bank Group.

MOL holds a 49.08% stake in INA, while the Croatian government owns 44.84%.

In a press release on Saturday, the Croatian government said that the arbitration request is due to measures it had launched, in line with local legislation, in September 2022 during the energy crisis in order to ensure safety of gas supply to households and other protected users in the country.

Back then, Croatia's government decided to urge INA to boost its domestic natural gas production by 10% and sell all of its output to HEP at the lowest possible price set by the national energy regulator. In July 2023, the government revoked its decision obliging INA to sell its entire domestic natural gas output to HEP.

INA’s shares traded 0.41% lower at 488 euro ($524) intraday on Monday on the Zagreb bourse.

($ = 0.931 euro)

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