Norway lawsuit rules against pipeline investors

An Oslo court ruled last Friday in favour of Norway in a lawsuit involving a group of international investors who argued that Norway's decision to cut gas pipeline tariffs would cost them 15 billion crowns (US$1.81 billion) in lost earnings through 2028.

Investors including Allianz, UBS, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, argued that Norway illegally cut fees on the 8000 km (5000 mile) Gassled natural gas pipeline network.

"Njord and the three other plaintiffs have six weeks to decide whether or not to appeal this decision. Njord will make an announcement when this decision has been made," Njord Gas said in a separate statement.

A landmark case?

The case has been described by some investors as a landmark decision that could add uncertainty to infrastructure investments in countries long deemed as being investor friendly.

The court found that the government’s decision “was not in breach of contract, that they had legal authority … [and] the state could therefore change the tariffs as they did,” according to a copy of the verdict. Still, the court ruled the government could have better communicated its decision to slash fees and ordered both sides to pay their own court costs.

A spokesman for the Norwegian Ministry for Oil and eEnergy said it was “satisfied that the state has been acquitted in the lawsuit.”

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: ReutersWall Street Journal

Published on 30/09/2015

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