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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Browne and Hayward in Moscow for Talks

Lord Browne, the outgoing CEO of British oil major BP, was due to fly to Moscow late Tuesday for two days of talks with firms and government officials, a BP spokesman said.

Browne will be accompanied by Tony Hayward, the current head of exploration and production, who is due to take over from Browne when he steps down in July, spokesman Vladimir Buyanov said.

BP's Russian venture, TNK-BP, has faced growing pressure as Gazprom seeks entry into the project's flagship Kovykta field. Browne oversaw the creation of the venture.

Rosneft vice president Nikolai Manvelov said he "could not exclude the possibility" that Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov would meet with Browne and Hayward upon his return from Japan. Bogdanchikov was due to travel to Tokyo from Sakhalin Island on Tuesday.

Gazprom could not be immediately reached for comment, but the Prime-Tass news agency earlier reported that Browne and Hayward would meet officials from the gas giant as well.

Browne said last month that he would step down in July, more than one year ahead of his planned retirement date. TNK-BP chief Robert Dudley was believed to be Hayward's main rival for the top spot.

Browne last met with Bogdanchikov and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller in Moscow in November.

Also Tuesday, TNK-BP spokeswoman Marina Dracheva said Gazprom had cut the amount of gas it would allow TNK-BP to ship through its pipelines from the Achimov field in West Siberia.

"We were hoping that, like last year, they would sign for a shipment of 2.5 billion cubic meters, but for the time being they are ready to give us space in the pipeline for 1.7 billion," she said.

Both Gazprom and TNK-BP subsidiary Rospan produce gas from the field.