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Rosneft wants court to reconsider minorities case against BP

BY JAMES MARSON

MOSCOW-- Rosneft has appealed for a court to reconsider the case of minority shareholders in BP’s Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, against the U.K. major, in a move apparently aimed at bringing final closure to the long-running suit as Rosneft takes over TNK-BP.

A Siberian court ruled last July that BP should pay TNK-BP $3 billion for damages caused to the company by its attempts to form a strategic alliance with Rosneft in 2011. But the case was dismissed in January by an appeals court after the TNK-BP minorities who brought the suit filed to withdraw their claims.

State-controlled Rosneft, a third party in the case, has appealed a court to reconsider the case, according to a posting on the official website for Russian courts. Rosneft in earlier hearings argued that the case was groundless and should therefore be dismissed on merits, rather than because the claimants withdrew the suit, according to court documents.

A spokeswoman for Rosneft said the company had no comment.

A lawyer for BP said the company is "comfortable" with its position as the suit had already been dismissed. "The [minorities' ] claim is groundless. The only outcome is that it' ll be dismissed, either on merits or because the minorities withdraw it," said the lawyer, Konstantin Lukoyanov. He said a hearing hadn' t yet been scheduled, but was likely to take place in mid-April.

Rosneft is buying TNK-BP, Russia' s No. 3 crude producer, from BP and its partners in deals worth $55 billion. The takeover, expected to be completed in the first half of this year, will make Rosneft the world' s largest listed oil producer.

Dow Jones Newswires

02/12/2013

 

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