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7

Russian Government Presses BP

The Russian government continued Monday to press its strategy of securing for the national gas monopoly Gazprom

The Russian government continued Monday to press its strategy of securing for the national gas monopoly Gazprom in order to threat an important investment by BP, with methods similar to those used last fall to force Royal Dutch Shell to sell a controlling stake in another energy development in the Russian Far East, the Sakhalin II project.

Gazprom was also the beneficiary in that case.

In the latest move, BP, which operates through a Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, slipped closer on Monday to losing its license to the Kovykta gas field when a Siberian court declined to hear its arguments.

Kovykta is BP’s largest natural gas project in Russia and is valuable because of its proximity to the fast-growing gas markets in China. The project appears to be slipping out of BP’s grasp.