Media release

Window dressing: Origin must suspend JV with Falcon

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility​ (ACCR) is calling on Origin Energy to suspend its joint venture with Falcon Oil & Gas in the Beetaloo Basin, due to its links with Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

  • Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) (77.5%) is in a joint venture with Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (22.5%) in the Beetaloo Basin.

    • Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg owns approximately 16% of Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd through subsidiary company Lamesa Group Holding SA.
    • Vekselberg representative Maxim Mayorets resigned from the board of Falcon Oil & Gas on 1 March 2022.
    • The Beetaloo Basin has been prioritised in the Federal government’s “gas-fired recovery”, including federal grants for exploration.

Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:

“Origin Energy may be hoping that the resignation of Maxim Mayorets from the board of Falcon Oil & Gas removes an undue influence on its joint venture in the Beetaloo Basin, but that’s simply window dressing.

“Putin ally Viktor Vekselberg, whose Renova Group of companies is on the US Treasury Department’s list of sanctioned corporations, owns at least 16% of Falcon Oil & Gas. The true extent of his interest in the company, however, remains unclear.

“Vekselberg stands to personally benefit from any successful exploration that Origin is conducting in the Beetaloo Basin.

“Origin has little choice but to suspend its joint venture with Falcon Oil & Gas until such time as Viktor Vekselberg’s interests in the company are resolved.

“Minister Keith Pitt must ensure that Vekselberg does not benefit in any way from subsidies related to the gas-fired recovery.”


Top five shareholders in Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd as at 25 February 2022:

HolderCommon Stock Equivalent Held (actual)Percent of Common Shares Outstanding (%)Market Value (AU$M)
Lamesa Group Holding SA157,083,63416.0028.2
Nicolas Mathys40,000,0004.077.2
Lupus Alpha Asset Management GmbH4,882,5000.500.9
Philip O’Quigley CEO & Executive Director3,513,6960.360.6
Capital Bank - GRAWE Gruppe AG1,300,0000.130.2

NB: All data sourced from S&P Capital IQ

In 2020, Publish What You Pay published a report on the companies that stood to benefit from the “gas-fired recovery”.

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