A fresh blow for BP in Russia as its Moscow office is raided by court officials looking for documents as part of a law suit over the collapse of its attempted Arctic oil exploration deal with state-controlled Rosneft.
BP denounced the raid which is a further indication of how much it has lost the support and protection of a once friendly Russian government.
Dmitriy Chepurenko, a lawyer for the group suing BP said: “At the moment the court appointed bailiffs are working at the BP office, inspecting the documents that are in the office to find out whether there are any documents concerning the strategic partnership between BP and Rosneft companies.”
The raid came one day after rival energy giant ExxonMobil signed an agreement with Rosneft to develop Arctic offshore oil fields. Prime Minister Putin was present for the ceremony, signalling Exxon’s rising fortunes.
The raid is linked to a lawsuit brought by a minority shareholder in the British firm’s joint venture with Russian investors – TNK-BP.
He claims the collapse of the Rosneft deal was BP’s fault and has cost shareholders two billion euros.