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AFX News: TNK-BP could lose gas field licence by June 1 – environmental official

05.24.07, 6:32 AM ET

MOSCOW (Thomson Financial) – A subsidiary of Russian-British oil major TNK-BP Holdings could lose its license for the massive Kovykta gas field in Siberia before June 1, a top environmental official warned today.

Checks on licence compliance at the field have begun and in the event that they reveal ‘substantial violations, they could lose their license before June 1,’ Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor, told AFP.

‘According to the law, the likelihood is 100 pct,’ he said.

TNK-BP (nyse: BP – news – people ) subsidiary RUSIA Petroleum has fallen far short of its commitment to produce 9 bln cubic metres of gas annually, producing only 33.8 mln cubic metres in 2006, according to Mitvol’s agency.

The company contends it cannot produce the required amount because state gas monopoly Gazprom will not allow it to build a planned export pipeline to China.

TNK-BP, which is 50 pct owned by oil major BP PLC and 50 pct owned by Russia’s Alfa Access Renova, values the Kovykta field at 2 bln usd.

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