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BP AGM attracts protests ahead of Gulf oil disaster anniversary

By Irene Chapple, CNN
Boats battle a fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 21, 2010.
Boats battle a fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 21, 2010.
  • The BP AGM comes almost a year since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill
  • BP has extended a deadline to finalize a share swap with Rosneft

London (CNN) -- BP's executives faced protests at the company's annual meeting in London Thursday, just days before the first anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

The meeting comes on the same day BP extended its share swap deadline with Russian state-owned Rosneft. The deadline, due to expire Thursday, is now set for May 16.

In February BP announced it suffered an annual loss for 2010 because of the oil spill, which followed an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers.

BP reported a loss of $4.9 billion, after $40.9 billion was set aside pre-tax in charges related to the spill.

However, the Rosneft extension gives some breathing space to BP as it negotiates with the shareholders of its Russian partner, TNK-BP, to push through the Russian Arctic exploration project.

The project was temporarily blocked by a judge in London in February after TNK-BP's owners filed court action to halt the deal.

In a statement Thursday BP said it remained "fully committed to TNK-BP as its primary business vehicle in Russia."