TNK-BP Backs Brazil Deal Amid Shareholder War, Payments on Track

TNK-BP, BP Plc’s Russian venture with a group of billionaires, will pay $200 million to HRT Participacoes em Petroleo SA in October as planned even as the Russian oil producer lacks a functioning board of directors.

The payments under a $1 billion letter of credit will go ahead in installments and don’t need any additional decision from the board, Gennady Shulenko, TNK-BP vice president for finance, told repory in Moscow today.

TNK-BP’s board hasn’t met since last year when two directors quit amid a shareholders battle that erupted over BP’s failed plan to form an alliance with OAO Rosneft. The lack of a full board has stopped dividend payments at Russia’s third-largest oil producer and held up a decision on at least one Russian project.

TNK-BP and HRT plan to complete a minimum of wight exploration wells in Brazil’s Amazon this year, Jonathan Muir, TNK-BP’s chief financial officer, told reporters .

“HRT is doing a nice job in terms of setting up the operations in that challenging environment,” Muir said. Well costs at the Brazilian partnership run between $20 million and $30 million each, he said.

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