The Alfa-Access-Renova consortium of Russian billionaire shareholders in the Russian-British joint oil venture TNK-BP will soon set out its claim at the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal that BP breached the TNK-BP shareholder agreement, a source at AAR said on Thursday.
“The Stockholm Tribunal, which issued injunctions earlier this year blocking a proposed deal between Rosneft and BP, will soon hear AAR’s arguments on BP’s breach of the TNK-BP shareholders’ agreement,” the source said.
In January, British oil giant BP and Russian oil major Rosneft signed a $16 billion share swap deal and an agreement to develop the energy-rich Arctic shelf together.
The deal, promoted by Russia's powerful Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, was blocked by the London High Court and the Stockholm Tribunal following a suit from AAR.
Under the shareholders’ agreement, both sides must pursue all new business opportunities in Russia through the TNK-BP joint venture.
AAR announced in April it intended to bring a lawsuit to a court in the British Virgin Islands and a British court to recover $5-10 billion in damages from BP for the breach of that shareholders’ agreement.
AAR claimed that the British partner in the TNK-BP joint venture had failed to timely inform the joint venture of a new opportunity and signed a binding deal with Rosneft.
AAR has also learned that the TNK-BP minority shareholders have filed a lawsuit at a court in Tyumen in Siberia against two BP executives who had served on the board of directors of TNK-BP Holding until recently, the source said.
“AAR is not a party to this litigation but we were informed by lawyers representing the minority shareholders about the nature of the lawsuit and the claims against BP’s top managers,” the source said.
The minority’ shareholders’ lawsuit is contains similar complaints to the issues raised by AAR at the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal and centers on BP’s breach of the shareholder agreement with AAR and damage suffered by TNK-BP as a result of BP’s actions, the source said.