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Petroleum News: Russians threaten to pull BP licenses

Vol. 11, No. 49  Week of December 03, 2006

Russian regulators have given a unit of BP PLC’s Russian oil and gas joint venture six months to fix licensing and environmental violations or face losing key production licenses, the company said Nov. 27.

The state subsoil agency, Rosnedra, decided to give Rospan International a grace period during a meeting Nov. 24, TNK-BP said. Dow Jones Newswires, citing an unidentified Rosnedra official, confirmed that Rospan was indeed given six months to fix the violations. Regulators have requested the annulment of licenses for the Novo-Urengoyskoye and Vostochno-Urengoyskoye gas fields, which combined produce about 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

TNK-BP spokesman Alexander Shadrin said it would present Rosnedra with a comprehensive plan to fix the violations soon.

“We are hopeful we’ll be able to resolve these issues within the allotted time,” Shadrin was quoted by Dow Jones as saying.

Western energy companies with major projects in Russia have come under pressure in recent months as the Kremlin seeks to increase its sway in the strategic oil and gas sector.

—The Associated Press

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