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BP Agrees $325 Million Settlement with Russian Partners

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LONDON - BP PLC has agreed to pay its partners in the TNK-BP joint venture $325 million as part of a wide-ranging settlement deal announced earlier Tuesday, a person familiar with the matter said.

Long-fractious relations between the U.K. oil giant and the group of Soviet-born billionaires behind the Alfa Access Renova consortium appeared to have been soothed with both sets of shareholders announcing a "comprehensive agreement" to settle all disputes between them, including protracted arbitrations brought by each side against the other.

Both BP and AAR declined to comment on whether any payments were made in respect of the settlement.

However, the deal included a payment of $325 million by BP to AAR, the person said. It isn't yet clear whether part or all of money has been paid, or whether the payment still has to be made.

The settlement ends years of tensions between the partners and paves the way for a multi-billion-dollar buyout of both sets of shareholders by Russian state-owned behemoth OAO Rosneft. BP and AAR had been mired in litigation since last January, when AAR blocked BP's proposed deal with Rosneft to explore the Arctic.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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