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.
"It has always been BP's position that these matters should be resolved through arbitration, and we are pleased that this is what the court has now decided," BP's head of Russia David Peattie said.
The AAR consortium of Russian moguls, which owns half of TNK-BP, filed a complaint against the deal with the London court late last month, saying it violated the TNK-BP shareholder agreement to jointly pursue projects in Russia and Ukraine.
Stan Polovets, head of the AAR consortium, said the London court decision on Tuesday confirmed that the position of the Russian shareholders of TNK-BP was right both in moral and in legal terms.
BP CEO Robert Dudley said on Tuesday that BP did not fear the court proceedings with Russian shareholders of TNK-BP and would not object to TNK-BP participation in Rosneft-BP joint projects.
A Rosneft representative said the Russian oil company hoped the court injunction would not affect the deal.
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)