Authorities detain nearly 150 engineers and geologists of BP
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  • In a development that has again placed Russia against the western oil companies, Russian authorities detained 148 expatriate engineers and geologists of British Petroleum (BP), citing loopholes in their work permits. BP’s joint venture in Russia, TNK-BP is already in a dispute with Gazprom, the Russian state gas company, over the terms of sale of a large gas field in Siberia. The present dispute however started early last week when TNK-BP was confronted with charges that an employee had engaged in industrial espionage. Authorities had also announced an environmental inspection at the joint ventures’ largest oil field1.