KHABAROVSK, November 30 (RIA Novosti) – Rosneft, Russia’s largest state-owned oil company, could sign a final binding agreement with the AAR consortium to buy its 50 percent stake in Russo-British oil venture TNK-BP as soon as December, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said on Friday.
“I think we’ll sign a binding agreement with AAR in December,” Sechin said.
Rosneft had previously said it had agreed the outline of the deal to buy half the company for around $28 billion.
The deal will not require approval by a Rosneft shareholders’ meeting, he said.
“It’s not a buy-back. Such a deal would have required the approval of a shareholders’ meeting but this is series of deals, so it is not needed and there is no foundation for a buy-back,” he said, when asked if minority shareholders dissatisfied with the deal could offer their shares for sale.
Sechin said liberalization of access to Russia’s shelf could mean compensation should be paid to Rosneft, he said.
“When Rosneft held its IPO in London in 2006, the state took upon itself the responsibility to see the position of Rosneft shareholders was not impaired,” he said. “If they make that decision, attention must be paid to compensating shareholders.”
Currently, only companies with a minimum 50 percent state holding and at least five years experience of working in such areas have access to development of Russia’s continental shelf. This rules out all but Gazprom and Rosneft in effect. The Natural Resources Ministry has repeatedly proposed expanding that list to include foreign competitors.