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Meanwhile, BP’s lawyers were in court in London to contest a challenge to the company’s ambitious plans to explore for offshore oil in the Arctic with a new Russian partner, Rosneft. At BP’s request, the hearing was closed and the judge’s decision was not immediately announced.

BP’s current Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, is seeking an injunction to block the deal on grounds that it violates their agreement. TNK-BP now accounts for a quarter of BP’s oil production.

BP’s Russian partners in the AAR consortium, which owns the other half of TNK-BP, on Monday voted against a $1.8 billion dividend payout for the fourth quarter, a move that would deprive BP of $900 million.

In the Gulf of Mexico, BP said activity has been winding down since no significant volume of oily liquid has been recovered from the Gulf since July 21, and 98.8 percent of the waters formerly closed to fishing had been reopened. The number of people employed on the cleanup had dropped from 20,000 to about 6,200, BP said.

As of this weekend, about 91,000 people and businesses had filed for final settlements of claims from the $20 billion fund, administered by Washington lawyer Kenneth Feinberg. Thousands of people have received some money to tide them over until a final settlement amount is offered, but only one has been fully paid — a $10 million claim which BP called a unique situation.