Bailiffs raid BP Moscow office

Russian bailiffs have raided BP’s offices in Moscow on the orders of a Siberian court. The raid conducted by the Federal Bailiff Service followed a lawsuit against the oil giant […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Russian bailiffs have raided BP’s offices in Moscow on the orders of a Siberian court. The raid conducted by the Federal Bailiff Service followed a lawsuit against the oil giant by shareholders of one of its minor subsidiary companies.

Some shareholders of TNK-BP Holding, led by Andrei Prokhorov, are claiming damages from BP after its failed Arctic exploration deal with Rosneft (pictured). Instead on Tuesday Rosneft agreed terms with American giant ExxonMobil on a similar deal. Mr Prokhorov went to court to sue BP for loss of profits from the potential deal.

A court in Tyumen, West Siberia granted him and the other shareholders the right to ask for bailiffs to seize documents that may have helped his case. But search of BP’s offices was suspended for ten days by the Federal Bailiff Service once BP objected.

A spokesperson for BP told ELN that the lawsuit which granted permission to the search held “outrageous requirements”, such as allowing a search for words like “Rosneft”, “arctic”, “oil” and “gas”. The spokesperson added: “We don’t believe this absurd lawsuit has legal basis. We intend to challenge it in court.”