Tribunal nixes BP's Arctic exploration plans with Rosneft

UK energy giant BP's Arctic exploration deal with Russian state oil giant Rosnft has been placed on hold again following renewal of an injunction to its Russian partner AAR by an independent arbitrator. 

"We won," an AAR spokesman told reporters. 

According to BP it was disappointed that the arrangements which were important for Russia, for Rosneft and for BP had been stalled due to legal challenge by AAR. It said BP intended to continue to honour the TNK-BP shareholders' agreement to which it is a party with AAR, and would respect the decision of the arbitrators.

The arbitration panel was referred to following  AAR winning a temporary injunction against the deal, that would allow BP and Rosneft to explore for oil in the Arctic offshore and undertake a $16 billion share swap. 

According to BP it looked forward to finding a way to resolve its differences with its Russian partners to allow the important Russian Arctic developments to proceed in future.

The Russian oligarchs who own the Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR), which has a 50-per cent stake in TNK-BP, are furious they were not consulted before BP struck up an alliance with Rosneft. According to their contention the deal goes against a clause in their agreement with BP, under which they have the right to be part of any exploration on Russion soil.