BP, Rosneft and AAR – The road ahead

With the Stockholm Arbitration court blocking the proposed share swap and joint venture between BP and Rosneft, Business RT spoke with Roland Nash from Verno Capital about the road ahead for all parties.

RT:What do you think is the next step in this deal, will it actually happen now?

RN:“I think there is a lot of value to be unlocked between the deal between BP and Rosneft, so given there is a lot of value you’ve got to find some way of sharing that value around to make the deal happen.So I don’t think this is the last we have heard of it. I think the Russian shareholders in TNK-BP want to make sure that they get some of this value which can be unlocked by the deal.How that happens I think is going to be the next step.”

RT:Are there any alternatives to BP for Rosneft to find a partner, for example?

RN:“It’s a very interesting project.The unlocking of the arctic – the hydrocarbons in the Arctic – is something that I think a lot of oil companies would want to look at.We have had several deals in the last couple of months- Total with Novatek, Exxon with Rosneft – in other areas.So I think there would be other oil majors that would be interested in looking at the deal, but BP is the most experienced western oil company in Russia.It is closest, obviously, to the deal, the obvious candidate to make this happen.So if it is not BP I think it is going to take a lot longer to get to some sort of deal.”

RT:What pressure can the Russian government bring to ensure the BP-Rosneft deal goes through?

RN:“I think that the Russian government could talk to the Russian shareholders in TNK-BP.I would be really surprised if somebody has, any, Mikhail Freedman within TNK-BP, had already not spoken to the Russian government.So I would imagine that that dialogue is going to continue.I don’t see this as a particular shock, this deal, the court judgment.I think this is the next step in a game plan that we will see the results of over the next several months.I don’t think this is the last step at all.”

RT:What do you think will happen by April 14 which is the deadline for the deal?

RN:“I think, that you will see the potential for a compromise coming out, which will allow the next steps to be taken. I don’t think we will get any resolution by April 14, it is too quick.But we will have the potential to see how we can get to a final conclusion.”

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