I found a little tid-bit...on this link; en.wikipedia.org...
Obstacles and conflicts
For a summary of the pre-2003 battle of control between TNK and BP, see: Alfa Group.
After TNK and BP merged their Russian oil and gas businesses in 2003, within a relatively short time there was new legal strife between BP and the
Alfa Group over TNK-BP. Prior to the partial TNK acquisition by BP, TNK had aggressively seized several assets from another BP joint venture, wrote
The Economist in May 2007, speculating that greater pressure might be applied by government-owned entities, such as the Gazprom Neft. The legal
battle was ignited after a clause against trade in the TNK-BP share expired in 2008. Western BP executives have been denied visa to Russia, employees
have been accused of espionage in March 2008, and there is total disagreement between BP and Alfa over the executive management of TNK-BP, including
suspicion that the Alfa Group seeks to weaken BP's powers through a strategic alliance with Gazprom. Furter, Alfa Group has accused TNK-BP CEO
Robert Dudley of having violated Russian laws.
On 12 June 2008, in Stockholm, Peter Sutherland, the BP chairman, lamented Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin's lack of action to prevent the
AAR group of Russian shareholders, who he viewed as oligarchs, from using strong-arm tactics to try to take control of TNK-BP, saying: "This is just
a return to the corporate raiding activities that were prevalent in Russia in the 1990s. Prime minister Putin has referred to these tactics as relics
of the 1990s, but unfortunately our partners continue to use them."
On 6 July 2008, The Sunday Times reported that BP was suing its Russian partners - Mikhail Fridman, Viktor Vekselberg, Leonard Blavatnik (who is,
in fact, a US passport holder) and German Khan - in the High Court in London over a $360 million (£180 million) tax claim lodged on 30 June; the
latter alleged that BP was owed the sum under the terms of an agreement that had been struck at the creation of the TNK-BP joint venture in 2003. The
four billionaires were reported to be planning to fight the claim with the spokesman for their holding company, AAR, describing the figure quoted in
the writ as "inflated".
On 4 September 2008, the parties to the corporate conflict signed a five-page memorandum of understanding, which Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive,
described as "a very sensible and pragmatic way of looking forward". BP managed to retain the 50-50% split.
TNK-BP is of enormous importance to BP, representing 24% of production and 19% of total reserves in 2007. In 2008, TNK-BP chief executive in Russia,
Robert Dudley, was expelled from the country, as part of the power-broking between the two owners. BP in vain proposed previous Russian diplomat
Pavel Skitovits as new CEO of TNK-BP, but in May 2009 Alfa Group achieved to have their own President Mikhail Fridman installed as CEO of the company.
Analyst Lev Snykov of VTB Group in Moscow commented this to be a new shift in power to the benefit of Alfa Group, preparing their full take-over of
In 2009 TNK-BP sold the company's oil field services division to Weatherford International for US $450–490 million in stock.
This looks inviting, I think.
Connection to terrorism?
[edit on (6/13/1010 by loveguy]