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TNK-BP Soap To Be Continued

BP CEO Tony Hayward does not expect TNK-BP's shareholder dispute to end any time soon...

BP CEO Tony Hayward does not expect TNK-BP’s shareholder dispute to end any time soon, he told reporters in London, RBC has learnt from a source in the British company. Hayward said discussions between TNK-BP’s shareholders were continuing, but the situation was complicated, and it was unclear when a compromise could be reached.

Speaking at an economic forum in St. Petersburg last week, he expressed confidence that the conflict would be settled.

The conflict among TNK-BP’s shareholders, BP on the one side and a consortium of Alfa Group, Access Industries and Renova Group (AAR) on the other (each party having a 50 percent stake in TNK-BP), surfaced last month. AAR demands the resignation of TNK-BP President Robert Dudley, accusing him of acting in the interests of only one shareholder, BP, but the British shareholders rebuffed the accusation.

The dispute centers on the company’s development strategy: while Russian shareholders want to invest abroad, ВР is chiefly interested in Russian projects to boost production and build up reserves. The parties also cannot agree on the balance between Russian and British specialists within TNK-BP.

According to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the reason for the conflict lies in the parity between Russian and British shareholders. He said he had warned about possible problems a few years ago.

Commenting on the problem during the St. Petersburg economic forum on June 6-8, Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian shareholder in TNK-BP, and the company’s head Robert Dudley said the corporate dispute would be solved shortly.

TNK-ВР is one of Russia’s leading oil companies, and it is one of the world’s ten largest privately-owned oil producers. It was created in 2003 through the merger of Вritish Рetroleum’s oil and gas assets in Russia and the assets of the Alfa Access-Renova alliance. ВР has a 50 percent stake in TNK-BP , Alfa Group has 25 percent, with Access Industries and Renova having 12.5 percent each. ТNК-ВР is a vertically integrated oil company with operations in Russia and Ukraine. Most of its oil production projects are in West and East Siberia, the Volga and Urals region.