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.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
i100
Life and Style
tech

Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments

Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...

.NET Developer

£650 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM,...

Java/C++ Developer

£350 - £375 per day: Harrington Starr: Looking for a Java/C++ Developer to wor...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor