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UPDATE 1-Russia govt in dark on BP pledge to AAR-source
January 28, 2011 / 11:36 AM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-Russia govt in dark on BP pledge to AAR-source

* AAR seeks London court injunction over BP-Rosneft deal

* Believes BP didn’t fully inform Russia about TNK-BP

(Adds detail, comments from AAR, quotes, background)

MOSCOW, Jan 28 (Reuters) - TNK-BP’s TNBP.MM Russian shareholders believe BP (BP.L) did not fully inform authorities of its obligations to existing oil industry partners in Russia before securing a deal with Rosneft (ROSN.MM), a source told Reuters.

Shareholders in the AAR consortium which owns the other half of BP’s TNK-BP venture are seeking a London court injunction to immediately halt the deal, in which Russian state-controlled Rosneft and the British oil company agreed to a $16 billion share swap and to set up an Arctic offshore exploration venture.

“We do not believe that BP informed Rosneft and (Deputy Prime Minister Igor) Sechin or (Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin fully on their obligations to TNK-BP,” the source, who is close to the TNK-BP board, told Reuters on Friday.

The source said AAR wants BP to stick to the shareholder agreement, which considers its Russian venture TNK-BP as the “prime vehicle” of BP’s operations in Russia and Ukraine.

BP has said it believes its deal with Rosneft does not violate its shareholder agreement with TNK-BP.

The London court will hear the case on Feb. 1 -- the day both Rosneft and BP are due to announce their annual financial results. A ruling may come on the same day, the source said.

Stan Polovets, CEO of AAR, told Reuters it wants “the court to compel BP to comply with its obligations under the TNK-BP shareholder agreement.”

But he declined to discuss details or make any other comments, citing advice from legal counsel.

Earlier, he said that under the consortium’s agreement with BP, all new projects in Russia and Ukraine should be executed via TNK-BP only.

AAR, or Alfa-Access-Renova, owns half of TNK-BP on behalf of structures linked to tycoons Mikhail Fridman, Len Blavatnik and Viktor Vekselberg.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Douglas Busvine and Andrew Callus

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