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New York Times: Russia: BP Licenses to Two Fields Are Challenged

By ANDREW KRAMER
Published: November 8, 2006

The Russian prosecutor general’s office said two oil fields operated by a joint venture of BP, the British oil company, were in violation of their licensing terms and recommended that the Ministry of Natural Resources revoke the licenses.

The move came a month after authorities threatened to revoke BP’s license to the huge Kovytka natural gas field near China, one of the world’s largest such deposits. That field is also operated through the joint venture, which is known as Rospan and is operated by BP and the Tyumen Oil Company of Russia.

Russian authorities have been pressing BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and other foreign companies on environmental and other issues since August. Oil analysts say the Kremlin is trying to gain control of foreign-run energy projects by forcing companies to sell out or take a Russian state company as a partner.

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