British oil major BP confirmed on Monday it was “in advanced talks” with Rosneft on selling its 50-percent stake in the joint venture with Russian billionaire shareholders.
“BP confirms it is in advanced discussions with Rosneft regarding the sale of its 50-percent interest in TNK-BP. No agreement has yet been reached. A further announcement will be made if and when an agreement is reached,” the British oil major said in a statement.
BP is expected to sell its half of Russia’s third-largest oil company TNK-BP to Rosneft for between $25 billion and $28 billion in a cash and shares deal.
“The tie-up will give BP access to the vast reserves in the Russian Arctic, which are thought to hold more than 10 billion barrels of oil and nearly 3 trillion cubic meters of gas. BP is expected to return some of the proceeds to investors as a special dividend,” The Independent wrote on Monday.
“Rosneft, meanwhile, will consolidate its dominant position in the Russian oil industry. The company, headed by President Vladimir Putin’s former chief of staff Igor Sechin, is also set to take over the 50 percent in TNK-BP owned by four Russian oligarchs, giving it control of more than half the country’s oil industry.”
The deal marks the latest in a series of steps by Russia to regain control of assets privatized in the 1990s, including the takeover of the oil firm Yukos in the mid-2000s.