Image by MosnewsMore trouble for BP. Its Russian joint venture has been given three months to increase production at one of the world’s largest gas fields “by a technically impossible amount” or face losing the field altogether.

The order, from a local branch of Russia’s environmental watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, puts the Anglo-Russian oil group TNK-BP in an impossible position that appears designed to force it to sell its controlling stake in the $2bn Kovykta gas field.

The deadline is being seen as the latest shot in a Kremlin campaign to renationalise the country’s “commanding heights” as Russia seeks to continue its controversial metamorphosis into an energy superpower. It will also add to the heap of problems at BP.