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28 Jul, 2008 17:04

Russian shareholders of TNK-BP say they need BP expertise, as 'elephant' waits

Russian shareholders of TNK-BP have admitted to Business Today they need Western expertise. Their comments come despite recent allegations they're trying to force BP nominees out of the joint venture. Experts have dubbed Gazprom the “elephant in

The AAR consortium of Russian shareholders admitted Monday they need BP's expertise, as the joint venture hunts oil in ever tougher fields.

That's the trump card of their biggest enemy, CEO Robert Dudley, who they want sacked for running the company in BP's interests.

There's real power and productivity in developing new russian managers blended with global skills and expertise. This seems like common sense, to me, in an industry short of experience and people, that is high on technology.

AAR have stopped Dudley getting an extension to his work visa, which expired on Monday. Experts believe a Gazprom takeover's now inevitable, the only question is the ruse they'll use to seize control. Artyom Konchin from UniCredit Aton says its only a matter of time before they come seeking a deal.

To deny Gazproms interest is a bit ….silly, lets put it this way.  Obviously the elephant is just in the next room. So you know, eventually you’ll see him come in and do some sort of a deal.

The migration service argues Dudley's transit visa requires renewal, BP points to the fact such visas should be renewed automatically.