Rosneft denies it wants to buy out TNK stake

Rosneft yesterday denied it is considering a takeover of the Russian half of the TNK-BP joint venture, as the state-owned oil group reported a 64 per cent jump in profits last year.

Last month Rosneft and BP agreed a ground-breaking $10bn (£6.2bn) tie-up, including a $5bn share swap and plans for a major exploration programme in Russia's Arctic South Kara Sea. But progress has been stalled after an injunction lodged by Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) – BP's partner in TNK-BP – was upheld in court earlier this week.

AAR claims that the Rosneft deal violates the TNK-BP shareholder agreement specifying that any Russian activities by either party must be put before the joint company's board.

Both parties claim the Russian government has taken no interest in the matter. But the spat has led to speculation about the politics of Russia's oil industry and the involvement – or not – of senior Kremlin figures such as Igor Sechin, the Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of Rosneft, who was a key architect of the deal.

Rosneft's President Eduard Khudainatov yesterday took the opportunity to pour cold water on rumours that the group is planning to buy out AAR's 50 per cent stake in TNK-BP. "We are not in talks about buying AAR's stake or TNK-BP itself, of course not," Mr Khudainatov said.

Annual results published by Rosneft showed profits shooting up to $10.7bn on revenues up by 35 per cent to $63bn, thanks in part to rising oil prices. The company also saw a boost from oil production up by 6.4 per cent, with particularly strong gains from the Vankor and Verkhnechonsk fields in East Siberia and the Samaraneftegaz production unit in the south-eastern Samara region. Net debt is down by 26 per cent to $13.7bn, the company said.

Under the proposed BP deal, the British oil major will take a 9.5 per cent stake in Rosneft, which is 75 per cent-owned by the Russian state. In return, Rosneft will receive a 5 per cent slice of BP shares.

But nothing can happen pending a formal arbitration process to settle the falling out with TNK-BP.

BP claims that it was prevented from sharing details of the deal with the TNK-BP board in advance by the market sensitive nature of the share-swap element of the deal. And Bob Dudley, the BP chief executive, took a typically understated stance when the company published its annual results earlier in the week, stressing the continuing cordial relations between the two sides and forecasting an amicable, commercial outcome.

But not all make such a relaxed reading of the situation. And the four billionaire oligarchs who make up the AAR consortium – Mikhail Fridman, Victor Vekselberg, Leonard Blavatnik and German Khan – earlier in the week agreed that they will vote down a proposed $1.8bn special dividend at the TNK-BP board meeting later this month. Although there are 11 board members – four BP nominations and another three independents alongside four AAR representatives – the dividend vote is not open to the independent appointees.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
Life and Style
Great minds like Einstein don't think alike
Missing: 'Mail' columnist Peter Hitchens
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power