TNK-BP Unit Executive Ziganshin Shot Dead

MOSCOW Oct 2, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

The chief engineer for Anglo-Russian oil producer TNK-BP Holding's (TNBP.RS) unit Rusia Petroleum, Enver Ziganshin, was found shot dead in Siberia Saturday, a spokesman for the local police said, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Monday.

Ziganshin's wife found him in a sauna around midnight Saturday. He had been shot three times, including once in the head.

TNK-BP confirmed Ziganshin had been killed, but said it had no further comment for the time being.

"We have been informed that this tragedy has occurred," said spokeswoman Marina Dracheva. "We don't know any particulars."

Rusia Petroleum couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Ziganshin's death comes only two weeks after the murder of Russia's top banking regulator, Andrei Kozlov, in a high-profile killing that shocked Russia's political elite.

Contract-style killings of businessmen were commonplace in Russia in the early 1990s, when capitalism was in its infancy, but in recent years they had come to be regarded by many here as a thing of the past.

Ziganshin's death came against a backdrop of rising tensions at Rusia Petroleum over whether it will hold on to its massive Siberian gas field, Kovykta. Russian prosecutors threatened last week to revoke the company's license for alleged failure to meet production targets set out in the license and for environmental infractions.

TNK-BP owns a 62.4% stake in Rusia Petroleum. Russian financial-industrial group Interros Holding holds 25.82%. The Irkutsk regional government holds the remaining 11.24%.

TNK-BP is about 50%-owned by BP PLC (BP). An equal stake is held by a consortium of Russian investors.

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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