On Thursday, Russian oligarchs and New York residents Leonard Blavatnik, Victor Vekselberg, their respective companies, and their partners including BP and TNK-BP Limited, asked a New York Judge to dismiss claims Norex Petroleum is due more than $1 billion in damages over the alleged theft of its Yugraneft oil field in Western Siberia.
The defendants in the decade-long case asked New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten to dismiss the suit, arguing the company lost its case in previous hearings, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Norex, a collection of Canadian and global oil industry players, has been in and out of court since 2002 seeking damages after company officials claimed Blavatnik and Vekselberg masterminded and conducted a hostile takeover of Norex's Yugraneft oil field in the prior year, and that BP profited from it.
According to court documents, Norex claimed its controlling share of the oil field was illegally seized through corruption and force of arms.
The suit that was filed in 2002 continued for a decade, prolonged over several years because of U.S.Supreme Court precedents and battles over jurisdiction. In March of 2011, Norex refiled its original suit, according to court documents.
Lawyers say they expect the case to be dismissed again.
"Our expectation is a fourth strikeout for them," Faith Gay, a lawyer for Blavatnik's Access Industries told Bloomberg. "It's vexatious at this point."
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