A Stockholm court extended its injunction suspending a $16 billion share swap between BP and Russian oil major Rosneft indefinitely on Friday, as BP said it was looking at a possibility of extending the swap deal which will soon expire.
"The arbitral tribunal has ruled that the interim injunction prohibiting closure of the share swap transaction with Rosneft will remain in place until further notice. However, BP is now able to discuss the possibility of an extension of the April 14 deadline under which the share swap agreement will terminate," the oil major said in a statement.
BP and Rosneft agreed the share swap in January in which Rosneft was to exchange 9.5% of its stock for 5% in BP. The two firms also agreed to jointly undertake exploration and development projects on the Russian Arctic shelf. The deal is seen favorable for Rosneft as it gets access to offshore technologies and good for BP which got a chance to replenish its reserves after the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
But Russian shareholders of TNK-BP, four billionaires of Russian origin represented by AAR company, said the deal violated their right of refusal on deals in Russia enshrined in their shareholder agreement.
BP said that the court decision also prohibited its joint project in the Arctic with Rosneft pending further hearings.
Powerful Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, a close ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, presided over the landmark deal
Government spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment.
"AAR welcomes the decision of the tribunal, which we consider fair, balanced, and thoughtful," said Stan Polovets, chief executive officer of AAR. "We will be pleased to continue to cooperate with the tribunal and will provide any additional information and evidence it requires during the next stage of the hearings".
MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti)