AAR insist on involvement in BP-Rosneft deal

AAR, representing the Russian shareholders in TNK-BP, insist any deal for BP’s investment in Russia must be carried out through TNK-BP, their CEO Stan Polovets said on Friday, the day after Rosneft extended a deadline by a month to complete a $16 billion share swap with BP.

“We expect BP to use the extension offered by Rosneft to fulfil its obligations written in the shareholder agreement with AAR and secure the Arctic project development and the share swap through TNK-BP,” Polovets told RIA Novosti.

In January, Rosneft and BP agreed on the $16 billion share swap in which Rosneft was to exchange 9.5% of its stock for 5% in BP. The deal also includes plans to jointly develop oil production in the Russian Arctic.

But both parts of the contract were blocked by a court injunction following suits from AAR. They say BP violated a TNK-BP shareholder agreement when it signed the Rosneft deal. The agreement stipulated BP can only start Russian projects with approval from TNK-BP.

Vedomosti business daily quoted a Rosneft source saying AAR wanted $40 billion for their half of the company.

The paper quoted sources saying BP had already offered AAR participation in Arctic and international projects for $25-28 billion, but AAR had rejected all offers.

“We are not going to offer a large amount or significant shareholdings,” BP boss Bob Dudley said.

The Rosneft agreement is crucial to helping BP recover from the Gulf of Mexico disaster, and giving Rosneft access to the offshore technologies vital for exploiting Russia’s offshore Arctic assets.

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti)

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