MOSCOW, March 7 (UPI) -- Anglo-Russian energy venture TNK-BP could join Rosneft and Gazprom in developing the Russian arctic shelf if terms are good, the Russian prime minister said.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said TNK-BP might be able to persuade its oil and natural gas colleagues to tap into more domestic natural resources if the terms are favorable to all parties involved.
"There is a law, under which we have entrusted Rosneft and Gazprom with work on the shelf," Putin was quoted by Russia's official RIA-Novosti news agency as saying. "If TNK-BP offers suitable terms of joint work to one of the companies it can (join the project). Why not?"
TNK-BP, a joint venture between a group of Russian billionaires and BP, is at odds with the British supermajor and Rosneft over an asset swap that included exploration deals in the Russian arctic.
BP in January agreed to pay Rosneft more than $8 billion in shares for a 9.5 percent stake in the Russian energy company in addition to a development agreement for the Kara Sea on Russian's northern continental shelf.
Putin brushed off the historic rival between TNK-BP and its London counterpart by noting any rivalry is an internal matter for each company to address.
"These are their problems, they must solve them between themselves," he said.