(Reuters) - Russian bailiffs on Wednesday raided the Moscow office of BP, a move that the British oil major said was an attempt to put pressure on its business in Russia.
Here is a timeline of BP’s checkered history in Russia:
1997 - BP paid $571 million to buy a 10 percent stake in SIDANKO, then Russia’s fifth-largest oil company and part of the UNEXIM-MFK banking group controlled by oligarch Vladimir Potanin.
2003 - BP established its $7 billion Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, the largest foreign investment in Russia, a result of the merger of Russian companies TNK, SIDANKO and Onako with the majority of BP’s Russian oil assets. The company was 50 percent owned by BP and 50 percent owned by a group of Russia-connected investors: Alfa Group, Access Industries and Renova (AAR). TNK-BP also owned a 50 percent interest in Slavneft, another large Russian oil company.
2005 - TNK-BP liquidated SIDANKO after merging it with other assets.
2006 - Prosecutors in the Siberian town of Irkutsk demanded a local natural resources agency suspend TNK-BP’s license for the Kovykta gas field on environmental grounds.
2007 - TNK-BP agreed in 2007 to sell Kovykta to Gazprom for about $1 billion, but the deal collapsed due to disagreements on price.
March - Russian police raided the offices of BP and TNK-BP in Moscow and questioned managers. There was speculation that the Kremlin wanted one of its own companies, such as state gas monopoly Gazprom, to buy out the Russian billionaire shareholders in the venture and become partner to BP.
May - Court action by a local brokerage stopped TNK-BP from using key foreign specialist staff.
June - TNK-BP’s Russian shareholders threatened BP with legal action to strip BP-nominated directors of their powers in TNK-BP as the corporate conflict flared up.
July - Russia’s migration service said TNK-BP Chief Executive Robert Dudley could not work in Russia under his temporary visa.
August - Dudley left Russia blaming a campaign of harassment in a fight for control between BP and its partners.
December - CEO Dudley resigned, with Chief Operating Officer Tim Summers taking over as interim CEO.
January - Shareholders finalized a deal under which BP ceded influence to AAR -- a consortium through which four oligarchs own 50 percent of TNK-BP. Previously, half the board was appointed by BP and half by AAR.
November - Maxim Barsky nominated as the new chief of TNK-BP. He is still to be officially appointed to the position.
The license holder of the Kovykta gas field, majority owned by TNK-BP, was put up for sale at an auction at a starting price of $500 million. Gazprom paid 22.3 billion roubles ($773 million) for the rights to develop the field.
January - BP and Rosneft agreed to a $16 billion share swap under which they planned to jointly explore for offshore oil and gas in the Russian Arctic.
May - The deal with Rosneft collapsed after BP’s Russian partners won an injunction in a court of arbitration.
August - Russian bailiffs raided BP’s Moscow office in connection with the lawsuit by TNK-BP’s minority shareholders over the BP-Rosneft deal.
Reporting By Vladimir Soldatkin