On Thursday night the bailiff of the Federal Bailiff Service (FSSP) for Moscow passed a resolution to postpone the execution of enforcement procedures against BP Exploration Operating Company Limited (BP EOC) until 10 September 2011. The postponement was introduced in response to a petition filed by BP EOC regarding the necessity to get clarification from the Arbitration Court of Tyumen Region. The required clarifications concern the judicial act which was the basis for the executive actions.
BP EOC believes that the Court Decision which allowed the inspection and copying of documents in the Moscow office of the company contradicts the applicable Russian legislation, contains outrageous requirements and was made in support of an unfounded lawsuit. BP EOC is not a defendant in the legal claim by TNK-BP Holding minority shareholders and is neither a direct nor an indirect shareholder of TNK-BP Holding. The keywords "oil" and "gas", on which the search in documents was authorized to be carried out, allows the seizure of virtually all corporate documentation of BP EOC, including confidential documents.
In addition, the Arbitration Court of Tyumen ordered the bailiffs to allow the representatives of Andrei Prokhorov, a minority shareholder of TNK-BP, to participate in the examination and confiscation of documents and then to turn them over to such representatives instead of the court. BP EOC believes that this process has been a misuse of the Russian Arbitration Procedure Code.
The decision taken by the bailiffs will allow BP EOC time to appeal against the decision of the Arbitration Court of Tyumen region under normal conditions and to require the complete cancellation of any enforcement proceedings under the unfounded lawsuit by Andrei Prokhorov.
At present, all examined documents of BP EOC remain in office in a sealed cabinet. The company expects to resume normal operation of the office on Monday, 5 September.
Mark Salt, BP London Press, +44-(0)20-7496-4076