Rosneft may demand compensation if BP deal fails

Russia’s largest oil company, state-controlled Rosneft, may demand compensation if its Arctic exploration deal with British oil major BP flops, the company’s Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said on Friday.

An arbitration court ruling prevents Rosneft and BP from a deal to jointly explore Russia’s Arctic shelf and from going ahead with a $16 billion share swap after Russian owners of TNK-BP joint venture filed a complaint saying the deal violated its shareholder agreement.

“Rosneft will in any case defend its position stipulated in the contract,” Sechin said, when asked whether the company planned to claim compensation. “The company will consider who is to blame for the collapse of the deal.”

Sechin added that Rosneft was not nervous about the situation.

“We presume that BP, when signing the contract with Rosneft, has weighed all risks, its authority and possibilities,” Sechin said.

TNK-BP, which says the deal breaks a term in the shareholder agreement that stipulates that BP must gain consent from Russian partners for any local deal, has said it wanted to replace BP in the share swap.

Sechin said TNK-BP had not made any proposals and had nothing to offer.

“We have not discussed any offers on the purchase of the stakes with anyone,” Sechin said. “If TNK-BP can offer anything, it will be outsourcing to those who work (on shelves), but it is not being discussed.”

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, March 25 (RIA Novosti)

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