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Financial Post (Canada): Some Russia partnerships gone sour

Published: Aug 25, 2007

Pan American Silver Corp. spent millions on the Dukat silver mine in the 1990s, but lost control of the mine in a legal battle and wrote off its $37-million investment in 2000.

Archangel Diamond Corp. files a lawsuit claiming US$1-billion in damages in 2001 over a long-running licence dispute with its Russian partners. CEO Ray Clark says in an official statement: “Frustrating as this is for…shareholders of Archangel, it must also be a concern for the Russian government, a government that continues to maintain it is keen to encourage foreign investment.”

Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Japanese partners sold their controlling stake in the oil & gas project Sakhalin-2 to Gazprom in 2006, after Russian regulators threatened to shut down the project. The disagreement stemmed from the Russian government’s insistence that the oil and gas be appropriated for the domestic market rather than exports.

BP PLC Under regulatory pressure, BP’s joint venture TNK-BP Ltd. was forced to sell its 62.7% stake in Kovykta field to Gazprom for close to US$1-billion in June. The story received international attention when a top technician at Kovykta was shot dead under suspicious circumstances.

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