Russian shareholder 'drops $9 bn BP suit'

A minority shareholder in BP's Russian joint venture TNK-BP has dropped a long-running $9.3 billion suit against the British oil giant, a report said on Monday.

Andrei Prokhorov filed a notice with the eighth arbitration appeal court in the Siberian city of Omsk that he was dropping his suit seeking 288 billion rubles ($9.32 billion, 7.1 billion euros) in damages from BP, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing his lawyer Dmitry Chepurenko.

The move, which ends a long running legal dispute, comes after BP agreed to sell its 50-percent stake in TNK-BP to state giant Rosneft, which is also acquiring the other half owned by a consortium of Russian oligarchs.

Prokhorov, who owns a tiny minority share in TNK-BP Holding, had sued BP for damages over an earlier attempt at a tie-up with Rosneft in 2011 which ended in failure.

A court in the Siberian city of Tyumen had in July partly satisfied Prokhorov's claim, ordering BP to pay 100.4 billion rubles ($3.25 billion) in damages.

However that decision was still subject to appeal, a process that had been due to start on December 14.

According to RIA Novosti, Chepurenko declined to comment further on why the suit had been dropped.

Prokhorov had in his suit claimed that TNK-BP Holding suffered from unrealised gains by being shut out of the $16 billion share-swap and Arctic exploration venture.

That venture collapsed when it was blocked by BP's oligarch partners in TNK-BP, known as Alfa Access Renova (AAR).

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