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Court ruling freezes a major BP oil deal

A BP petrol station logo is pictured in Manchester, north-west England.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Almost a year after the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, British oil giant BP is in trouble again. A $15 billion deal for access to key oil fields in Russia is hanging by a thread.

From London, here's Marketplace's Stephen Beard.


STEPHEN BEARD: Just after last years' disaster BP signed a $15 billion deal to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic. Its partner: An oil company largely owned by the Russian government.

But BP already had some Russian partners. They weren't part of the deal, they felt shut out and took legal action to stop it. They've just won their case.

Neil Macgregor -- an oil analyst with stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley. He says BP has just suffered another big hit to its reputation, when this Arctic venture was supposed to improved its image.

NEIL MACGREGOR: This deal showed that BP was hurt by the Gulf of Mexico but not yet crippled and could still be a large player, in large deals going forward in new frontiers.

If the Arctic deal does falls through BP may have to pay the state-owned oil company a fortune in compensation.

In London this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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