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BP gets relief in Moscow arbitration

MOSCOW, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A Russian court ruled that documents seized during a raid on the Moscow offices of BP can't be used in a lawsuit filed by sister company TNK-BP.

BP last month filed a complaint in Russia asking a court to cancel a ruling that gave TNK-BP rights to access its corporate documents.

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The move came after a minority shareholder at TNK-BP sparked a raid on BP's offices in Moscow when he claimed a failed deal between BP and Russian oil company Rosneft resulted in economic losses of $2.7 billion.

A Russian court said, following a visit to Moscow by British Prime Minister David Cameron, that additional raids on BP's offices in Moscow were forbidden. The court has now ruled that the seized documents are inadmissible in the case filed by TNK-BP, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports.

BP was quoted as saying there were no "legitimate basis" for TNK-BP's claims in the case. Dmitri Chepurenko, a lawyer for the minority investors at TNK-BP, said he could "ask the court to demand the required documents in the course of the hearing."

A proposed January deal between BP and Rosneft for work in the arctic collapsed after TNK-BP said the proposal violated terms of its shareholder agreement with BP. Rosneft later landed a similar deal with U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil.

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