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U.S. Lawmaker Seeks Prompt Review of BP-Rosneft Deal

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Edward Markey on Thursday asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to open an immediate investigation into a multibillion-dollar share-swap plan between BP and state-owned Rosneft.

In a letter to Geithner, Markey, a leading House Democrat on energy and environmental issues, cited "several" national security concerns over the deal.

"I believe that there is clearly sufficient evidence that this deal may pose an unacceptable threat to U.S. national security," he said in asking Treasury's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to conduct the probe.

Markey's letter to Geithner follows a request he made last week introducing the idea of a U.S. government look into the BP-Rosneft deal if national security concerns were established.

In his letter, Markey noted that BP is the largest producer of oil and natural gas, and the fourth largest oil refiner, in the United States. He also noted that BP is the largest supplier of fuel to the U.S. military.

Russian state-owned energy companies, Markey said, "have demonstrated a willingness to cut off energy supplies during confrontations," noting a 2009 disagreement between Gazprom and a Ukraine firm which he said prompted Gazprom to shut down supplies.

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