BP Granted Time To Salvage Rosneft Pact

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BP has been granted some extra time to extend the April 14 deadline for its $16 billion share exchange with OAO Rosneft, Russia's largest oil company. Last month, an arbitration panel extended an injunction awarded to BP's joint Russian venture, TNK-BP, that sought to block the deal between BP and Rosneft.

While BP (BP) was unsuccessful in its attempt to get the injunction lifted, Europe's second-largest oil company at least has some time to extend the deadline and come to terms with Rosneft that may be viewed as more conducive to completing the agreement that was to see the two companies partner to explore for oil in the Russian area of the Arctic Circle.

TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil producer, complained that BP's deal with Rosneft violates the venture's shareholder rights accord with TNK-BP. For its part, Rosneft is not happy the deal with BP has been blocked and warned that once April 14 rolls around the companies will be working under a different set of circumstances, pledging to vigorously defend its interests along the way, Reuters reported.

BP may attempt to get TNK-BP to convene a board meeting with the hopes of convincing TNK-BP's legal team to drop or its case. BP could also try to find a way for TNK-BP to participate in the venture with Rosneft, though Rosneft has said it does not welcome TNK-BP's participation.

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