5 July 2007 - Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP has successfully defended BASF AG and its subsidiary Wintershall AG in a lawsuit initiated by the US oil company Moncrief Oil International, Inc. Today, the District Court of Frankenthal dismissed the multi-billion dollar lawsuit citing that the claims had no legal foundation.
Moncrief claimed it was owed compensation for damages of approximately US$8.5 billion (approximately  6.3 billion Euros) because it was excluded from the exploitation of the Jushno-Russkoye gas field in Siberia. Moncrief claimed that BASF and Wintershall had encouraged Gazprom to ignore the various contractual obligations owed to Moncrief. BASF and Wintershall intend to mutually exploit the gas field with Gazprom. 
As early as 2005 Moncrief had filed a suit in a Texas district court against Gazprom, Wintershall and Ruhrgas, a subsidiary of German-based oil and gas company e.on.. The U.S. court dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Moncrief’s appeal against this decision was again dismissed.
Dr. Mark C. Hilgard, partner in the Frankfurt office of the international law firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP commented on the judgment: “The judges clearly confirmed our view. BASF and Wintershall acted well within the law. There was no infringement of competition law.”BASF and Wintershall were represented in court by Dr. Mark C. Hilgard.
For further information:
Mark C. Hilgard
Partner, Frankfurt
+49 69 7941 2271