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BBC News: TNK-BP settles $1.4bn Russia bill

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TNK-BP, the oil and gas firm 50%-owned by BP, says it has settled a back-tax bill owed to the Russia authorities – reported to be worth $1.4bn (£752m).

The payment comes amid increasing pressure from the Kremlin over projects part-operated by foreign investors.

TNK-BP’s Rospan division has been threatened with prosecution, as have the operators of the Sakhalin-2 project – led by Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell.

The bill is thought to be the second largest ever paid by a Russian firm.

A $27.5bn claim by Russian authorities against Yukos, which the firm always argued was politically motivated, resulted in it going bankrupt.

TNK-BP’s project in the Kovyktas gas field in east Siberia is under investigation by prosecutors who say the licence could be withdrawn because of breaches .

Some analysts argue that the pressures are being imposed to encourage Russian shareholders to sell-up, allowing a Russian state firm such as Gazprom to muscle in on the project.

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