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BP granted extra month for Arctic oil deal

Protestors and shareholders gathered outside the BP AGM in London.

Due to expire on Thursday, BP have now been given an extra month to forge a deal with Russian company Rosneft.

The share swap, first announced in January, would mean exchanges worth $16bn between the companies and allow a joint venture to seek for oil in the Arctic.

Previous difficulties occurred when BP's current Russian partners AAR claimed the proposed deal would infringe their own TNK-BP shareholder agreement. An independent tribunal upheld the claim.

In the meantime BP's attempts at contravention have failed, with a staggering AAR buy-out figure suggested of $70bn. Analysts now say the extra time may allow new agreements to be made, thereby giving the go-head for the BP-Rosneft deal.

Protesters gathered outside BP's annual general meeting in London today, expressing anger over executive pay and the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. An explosion at the BP rig in April 2010 lead to the worst oil spill in US history.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.