Bailiffs raid Moscow office of BP unit

City A.M. Reporter
Bailiffs raided BP's Moscow offices on Wednesday, causing new problems for the oil company a day after ExxonMobil signed a deal that ended BP's hopes of developing Arctic offshore oil fields with Russia.

The morning raid, in which about 15 black-clad special force officers entered the central Moscow headquarters of BP Trading and sealed it off, was part of a legal battle being waged over BP's failed attempt to partner Russia in the Arctic.

A spokeswoman for the bailiffs said they were looking for documents for use in a case in which minority shareholders in TNK-BP, BP's Russian joint venture, have sued BP over its failed Arctic alliance with state-owned Rosneft.

"We were ordered to leave the office and work from home," a BP source said, adding that only senior company officials and lawyers remained in the building with the bailiffs.

BP said it was cooperating with the Russian authorities.