Rosneft vows to push on with BP deal

By @ibtimes on

Russian oil major Rosneft said on Friday it would push ahead with its plans to form a strategic alliance with BP, despite an arbitration court ruling putting the deal on hold.

The court didn't block (the deal), it extended the injunction until April 7. We must await the court's verdict, Rosneft's chairman, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, told reporters.

In any case, we want to follow the plan. We are satisfied with BP as a partner, Sechin said.

On Thursday, an arbitration court froze the agreement between Rosneft and BP, upholding an injunction against the deal won by the Russian tycoons who own half of TNK-BP.

Sechin issued a warning that Rosneft would seek compensation for losses he said the state-controlled company was already suffering as a result of the delay to the deal.

Rosneft is considering who is responsible for the collapse of this agreement. Certain losses are already arising. The partners know about this. The company will react appropriately, he said. Rosneft will defend its interests.

Sechin added that there was no direct link between BP and Rosneft's plans to hunt for oil in the Arctic offshore and undertake a $16 billion share swap.

As a matter of principle, the share swap deal and the offshore (development) are not linked to each other, he said.

BP said on Thursday it would seek a further opinion on whether it can go ahead and exchange 5 percent of its own stock for a 10 percent stake in state-controlled Rosneft, separately from the offshore deal.

Sechin also said Rosneft was not in talks to buy out the local tycoons who own half of TNK-BP, who according to unsourced press reports on Friday have put a $30 billion price tag on the stake.

(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya, Writing by Douglas Busvine and Vladimir Soldatkin)

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