BP may court buyers for TNK-BP share

July 16, 2012 at 9:19 AM
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LONDON, July 16 (UPI) -- BP is expected to court potential buyers for its 50 percent stake in Russian joint oil venture TNK-BP this week, a British newspaper reports.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, as well as unnamed Chinese and Russian companies, were mentioned by The Guardian newspaper in London as possible purchasers of BP's stake in TNK-BP.

Russian natural gas company Gazprom in June suggested BP could play a role in potential British links to the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline running through the Baltic Sea to Germany. BP had asked for a waiver to its agreement with TNK-BP stating that all business opportunities in Russia must be carried out through that partnership. The request was denied.

The Guardian reports that BP could get at least $30 billion from the potential sale, though Alfa Access Renova, which represents the Russian interests in the joint venture, said the figure would be significantly less.

The relationship between TNK-BP and the British energy company is stormy. Bob Dudley, now chief executive officer at BP, left his Moscow offices in 2008 when he led TNK-BP, citing harassment from the Russian side.

TNK-BP is Russia's third-largest oil company.

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