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The Scotsman: BP’s Russian gas joint venture settles £750m tax bill

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

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 UK-Dutch oil giant Shell.

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

A $27.5bn claim 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project in the Kovyktas gas field in east Siberia is under investigation by prosecutors who say the licence could be withdrawn because of breaches.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 pressure is being imposed to encourage Russian shareholders to sell-up, allowing a state firm such as Gazprom to muscle in.

Finance minister Alexei Kudrin said that most of the money would be transferred to the budget of the Tyumen region where the company is based.
 
http://business.scotsman.com/utilities.cfm?id=1676042006

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