MOSCOW (Reuters) - A court has extended an injunction on a deal between BP (BP.L) and Russian top oil producer Rosneft (ROSN.MM) pending arbitration scheduled to start in early March, BP said on Friday.
Last month, BP and Rosneft struck a deal to jointly develop Arctic oil and gas, and they also signed a share swap agreement.
But Russia-connected shareholders of BP’s Russian venture, TNK-BP TNBP.MM, said the deal violated its shareholder agreement with BP and won an injunction in a London court to put it on hold.
The two parties will now seek a resolution to their dispute via arbitration in Stockholm.
“The arbitral tribunal has ordered that a final hearing on certain matters to be agreed will take place in the week commencing 7 March 2011,” BP said in a statement.
“The injunction which has put on hold the Rosneft transaction announced on 14 January has been extended by the tribunal pending the outcome of this arbitration hearing,” it said.
A spokesman for AAR consortium, which represents the TNK-BP Russian shareholders, declined to comment.
Industry sources say the Russian partners are pushing to get a piece of the action in the Arctic or to partner with BP abroad, as TNK-BP’s Siberian operations are growing slowly and face a “peak oil” scenario going into the 2020s.
Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Hans Peters