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Oil giant Rosneft enters the race for British stake in TNK-BP

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 July 2012

BP 'welcomed' the interest from the state company in its holding in Russia's third largest oil producer.

Who will gain access to TNK-BP with interests here in Tyumen and elsewhere in Siberia? Picture: The Siberian Times

'The parties agreed to commence negotiations on this matter and signed a non-disclosure agreement,' said Rosneft. 

TNK-BP has substantial Siberian interests in Tyumen, Nyagan, Nizhnevartovsk, Novosibirsk, New Urengoy, and Irkutsk. 

The British giant said in said it was seeking buyers for its 50 percent stake after a dispute with its four billionaire partners in the Alfa Access Renova (AAR) consortium prevented it from sealing a major oil deal with the Arctic with Rosneft. 

AAR is separately negotiating with BP over acquiring half of BP's shares in the joint venture, and another unnamed party is also interested. 

Under existing agreements, the tycoons  Mikhail Fridman, Len Blavatnik, German Khan and Viktor Vekselberg  are entitled to a three month period of 'good faith' negotiations with BP first - but this does not stop the British firm holding talks with other bidders. 

A deal with Rosneft - which is led by powerful former deputy premier Igor Sechin - could allow BP a route back to the Arctic action in separate later agreements. 

After its $16 billion plans were blocked, the deal BP had hoped for went to US super-major ExxonMobil.

'Rosneft believes that an acquisition of BP's interest in TNK-BP would be in the best interest of both Rosneft's and BP's shareholders and would lead to further development of TNK-BP,' said the Russian giant.

BP 'welcomed' Rosneft's announcement 'of its interest in commencing negotiations'.

Analysts say that the British company retains an interest in Arctic exploration and that the Rosneft offer on TNK-BP gives it hopes that this can be concluded later. 

For Rosneft, acquiring the BP stake in TNK-BP would be another step to consolidating as an oil Gazprom, it is claimed.

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