Business in Brief

TNK-BP Wins Siberia Case

BP's Russian oil venture TNK-BP said Tuesday that it won the latest round of a court battle over its use of foreign specialists and that it had received work permits for 48 of its foreign staff.

TNK-BP said it had won a ruling in Omsk, lifting an injunction banning TNK-BP from using 148 foreign specialists seconded from BP. In addition, authorities granted 48 out of 49 work permits pending for TNK-BP's permanent foreign employees. The Russian billionaires who co-own TNK-BP said Monday that they would like to buy out BP but that no deal was likely, as BP was not interested in selling. (Reuters)

Shmatko on Conservation

Russia could use new technology to save an annual 100 billion cubic meters of gas, more than Britain's annual consumption, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said Tuesday.

Conservation measures are three to five times more productive than investments in new gas fields, Shmatko told German Economy Minister Michael Glos, a ministry statement said. "I still can't believe the numbers, because I thought I'd misheard," Glos said after the meeting. (Bloomberg)

Arms Deal Terms Disputed

Saudi Arabia has offered to award Russia lucrative arms contracts if the Kremlin curtails cooperation with Iran, Kommersant reported Tuesday, but Moscow denied that the offer was tied to relations with Tehran.

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan met President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, and they signed a landmark deal on military cooperation. A Russian government spokesman denied the deal was linked to Iran. (Reuters)

Imperial Jumps on Offer

Imperial Energy, a British oil and gas explorer with operations in Siberia, rose the most in 15 months in London trading after saying it was in talks on a possible cash offer for the company.

Imperial climbed 18 percent to close at 1,074 pence for the biggest gain since April 2007, valuing the company at ?1.1 billion ($2.2 billion). The firm said Tuesday that it might get a 1,290 pence per share offer. (Bloomberg)

OGK-4 '07 Profit Falls

Electricity producer OGK-4, controlled by Germany's E.On, said Tuesday that its 2007 net profit fell 70 percent to 1.6 billion rubles ($67.77 million) because of asset write-downs.

The company said it had corrected the overvaluation of its assets made in the late 1990s by its then-parent company, Unified Energy System. Revenues reached 31.4 billion rubles last year, up 20 percent from 2006. (Reuters)

For the Record

Gazprom said Tuesday that it has started production at its Achimgaz joint project with German chemical group BASF in Siberia and will produce 0.53 billion cubic meters of gas this year, it said Tuesday. (Reuters)

Zoloto Kamchatki said Tuesday that it raised production by 64 percent last year to 2.02 tons and would double investment this year. (Reuters)

Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov agreed to buy the Chikha thermal coal mine in the Rostov region, Vedomosti reported Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Russian Helicopters plans to hold an IPO by 2011, said Andrei Reus, CEO of Oboronprom, which controls the aircraft maker, Vedomosti reported Tuesday. (Bloomberg)