BP may invest money from sale of TNK-BP shares into Rosneft

Russia’s state-run oil company Rosneft and UK’s BP are in talks on the sale of BP’s 50 percent stake in Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP. BP will reportedly use the funds to enter other Russian projects or increase its stake in Rosneft.

"A proposal was made on the possible acquisition of Rosneft shares and increasing BP’s stake.  This proposal seems very interesting," said Rosneft’s head Igor Sechin , adding that this was in line with the government's plans to reduce its own stake in Rosneft.

According to Sechin BP is also considering investing the proceeds from the share sale into new Russian projects.

Sechin said the purchase of BP stakes in TNK-BP could be financed through market means. He said  that  "this  will  happen  without  loans  and  additional capitalization."

AAR, the second shareholder in TNK-BP, however, has not offered its stake in the venture for sale, said Rosneft’s head.

Rosneft announced it was interested in buying into the world’s third largest oil producer in July 2012 after BP said it was considering selling its 50% share in TNK- BP, its venture with a consortium of Russian billionaires, the Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR).

Following the announcement AAR said it welcomed Rosneft ownership of TNK-BP on a parity basis, stating that this would increase TNK-BP’s capital.  

However analysts say that any ownership of TNK-BP on a parity basis would only lead to corporate conflicts as was the case in the past.

The 50/50 ratio has outlived itself. This structure is not working and must be changed,” says analyst Vitaly Kryukov of IFD” Capital”.

BP and TNK-BP are currently in the process of the so called “honest negotiations” that would last 90 days according to the conditions of the agreement.

This means that until they expire BP cannot negotiate a share sale with anyone else, including Rosneft.

Rosneft has been interested in cooperating with BP for a long time, and planned to jointly develop Russia's Arctic shelf. But that deal was successfully blocked by AAR.

With the purchase of BP’s stake Russia’s leading oil producer would be able to strike a future deal with BP without hindrance from AAR.

TNK-BP International Ltd. (ТНК-BP) – is the third largest oil company in Russia, owned by BP and AAR on a parity basis.