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TNK-BP row kills Nord Stream talks

July 3, 2012 at 7:10 AM

MOSCOW, July 3 (UPI) -- The lack of leeway in the deal between British energy company BP and its Russian partners may have killed plans for Nord Stream, an analyst said.

Gazprom officials last week suggested BP could play a role in potential British links to the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline running through the Baltic Sea to Germany.

BP, according to Russian news channel RT, had asked for a waiver to its agreement with its Russian joint venture TNK-BP stating that all business opportunities in Russia must be carried out through that partnership. TNK-BP didn't concede.

Konstantin Simonov, director of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow, told RT it was the joint venture that scuppered the deal for Nord Stream.

"Gazprom is a Russian company and maybe this agreement prohibits BP to have any cooperation with another Russian company, even if we are speaking about overseas projects," he said.

The relationship between TNK-BP and the British energy company is stormy. Bob Dudley, now chief executive officer at BP, was run out of his Moscow offices in 2008 when he led TNK-BP, citing harassment from the Russian side.

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