London's High Court imposed on Tuesday an injunction on the strategic Rosneft-BP deal on share swap until February 25 following a lawsuit by the AAR consortium of Russian shareholders in the TNK-BP joint venture.
The injunction could be extended depending on the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Court. BP said in a statement on Tuesday that it hoped to resolve the dispute with the Russian shareholders in TNK-BP through the Stockholm court by February 25.
BP Chief Executive Robert Dudley told a news conference on Tuesday that BP did not object to TNK-BP participation in the Rosneft-BP joint projects and did not fear the court proceedings with Russian shareholders of TNK-BP.
A Rosneft representative said the Russian oil company hoped the court injunction would not affect the deal.
Stan Polovets, head of the AAR consortium, said the London court decision confirmed that the position of the Russian shareholders of TNK-BP was right both in moral and in legal terms.
The AAR consortium of Russian moguls, which owns half of TNK-BP, filed a complaint against the deal with London's High Court late last month, saying it violated a shareholder agreement between BP and the AAR consortium which does not allow BP to pursue projects in Russia and Ukraine without TNK-BP and requires bilateral consultations in exceptional cases.
Last week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Rosneft board chairman Igor Sechin said in Davos that Rosneft and BP had considered all the risks in their strategic partnership deal.
Rosneft Chief Executive Eduard Khudainatov said on January 19 that the share swap deal would be closed within three or four weeks.
BP and Rosneft agreed a $16 billion share swap deal on January 14 under which Rosneft will give BP 9.5 % of its stock in exchange for 5% of BP. The two firms also agreed to jointly undertake exploration and production projects on the Russian Arctic shelf.
MOSCOW, February 1 (RIA Novosti)