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    BP-Rosneft share swap could be delayed by lawsuit

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    British Petroleum (BP) said on Monday its deal with Russia's state-owned Rosneft could be delayed by a court hearing and arbitral proceedings, after Russian shareholders of the TNK-BP joint venture moved to block dividend payments.

    British Petroleum (BP) said on Monday its deal with Russia's state-owned Rosneft could be delayed by a court hearing and arbitral proceedings, after Russian shareholders of the TNK-BP joint venture moved to block dividend payments.

    The shareholders are opposed to the Rosneft-BP share swap deal, which could cost BP $1 billion.

    TNK-BP opposed the Rosneft-BP Arctic shelf exploration deal, saying it violated a shareholder agreement between BP and the AAR consortium, which owns half of TNK-BP. Under the agreement, BP can only pursue projects in Russia and Ukraine via TNK-BP, and has to consult with the board in exceptional cases, AAR head Stan Polovets said.

    AAR is seeking a London court order to suspend the BP-Rosneft deal. The court will consider the lawsuit later on Tuesday.

    "This hearing may result in an order which impacts or delays the completion of the share swap agreement announced by BP and Rosneft on 14 January 2011," BP said in a report posted on its website.

    "BP intends to resist this application in court and the likely outcome of these proceedings is not yet known. There are also related pending arbitral proceedings."

    MOSCOW, February 1 (RIA Novosti)

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