BP Highlights Efforts To Appease TNK-BP

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At its shareholder meeting in London today, BP discussed its efforts to resolve lingering disputes with its joint Russian venture, TNK-BP, that have resulted in a strained relationship between the British oil giant and the venture's oligarch investors. The relationship became frayed when BP and OAO Rosneft announced a $16 billion share swap earlier this year.

TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil producer, has opposed the BP/Rosneft deal. BP (BP) called the company's relationship with TNK-BP, ''noisy'' but not ''dysfunctional,'' according to the New York Times. Sounding like a scene from ''The Godfather,'' Dudley said ''It's not personal. It's business,'' the Times reported.

In efforts to get TNK-BP to drop its legal actions against BP that have imperiled the deal with Rosneft, the British company offered TNK-BP participation in the Arctic alliance, cash or participation in other international projects. Dudley did say that BP would not offer a large stake in itself to TNK-BP because that would not be beneficial to BP investors.

TNK-BP said ''BP has never made a constructive proposal to turn the Rosneft deal over to TNK-BP,'' the Times reported. BP and Rosneft, Russia's largest oil producer, were able to extend the deadline for making the pact work to May 16 early Thursday morning. The original deadline was set to expire Thursday.

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