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TNK-BP's confused future

BP and its Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, are feeling the heat again. It could herald the company's exit from Russia – or a new partnership with Gazprom or Rosneft. Derek Brower reports

IT STANDS out like a sore thumb. After the Yukos affair, the take-over of Sakhalin Energy and the rise of Russia's two dominant energy companies, TNK-BP's presence in the Russian oil and gas sector remains an anomaly. Increasingly, it looks like it might not last much longer. There are three problems for TNK-BP. The first is that it is, after Lukoil, the largest privately owned oil and gas producer in Russia, but the only one half owned by a foreign firm. The second is the Kovykta gasfield. Despite an agreement last summer to sell control of the field to Gazprom, the deal has not been completed. The third problem is TNK-BP's share structure: BP owns 50%, but the other half is in the hands o

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