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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dudley Unaware of Threat to Revoke TNK-BP License

TNK-BP chief executive Robert Dudley said Thursday that the company had not heard anything about threats to revoke its license for environmental violations.

"We just read about it in the papers," Dudley said on the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony at the Skolkovo Business School.

The Financial Times, citing unidentified sources, reported that Irkutsk prosecutors had demanded that TNK-BP's license to tap the giant East Siberian Kovykta gas field be revoked for environmental violations.

"I think we've been doing everything we can, spending money ... to meet the terms of the license. All permits are in place, all environmental reviews have been carried out," Dudley said.

The Federal Subsoil Use Agency said it was not reviewing the license and had no plans to do so, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

A spokesman at the Irkutsk regional prosecutor's office did not return repeated calls Thursday.

No one was available for comment in the Irkutsk regional administration, with many officials away from their offices to attend an economic forum near Lake Baikal.

Foreign oil companies have been facing pressure from authorities over licensing agreements and environmental permits. The state revoked the environmental permit at Shell's giant Sakhalin-2 liquefied gas project early this week, and ExxonMobil and France's Total are facing reviews at their Sakhalin-1 and Kharyaga projects, respectively.

Asked about the Sakhalin developments, Dudley said, "We are watching it like everyone else."

Turning to reports that Gazprom might buy TNK's stake in TNK-BP, Dudley said BP had seen from its Russian partners "a commitment to long-term projects, and that is the best indicator that they will remain committed."