BP secures future in Russia as Rosneft finalises TNK-BP deal

RUSSIAN energy giant Rosneft yesterday became the biggest listed oil company in the world, overtaking ExxonMobil, as it completed its takeover of TNK-BP from BP and four Russian tycoons.

The $55bn (£36bn) deal, which marks the largest corporate deal in Russia’s history, sees Rosneft bag 100 per cent of oil producer TNK-BP from BP and consortium AAR.

UK energy behemoth BP will net $12.3bn in cash and cement its future in Russia through an 18.5 per cent stake in Rosneft, lifting its total stake to 19.75 per cent.

Under the terms of the deal first agreed last October after months of negotiations, BP will also have two seats on the board of Russian state-owned firm Rosneft, including one for BP chief executive Bob Dudley.

Rosneft yesterday paid almost $28bn in cash to AAR, a consortium of four Russian billionaires, for its remaining 50 per cent stake in TNK-BP.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley yesterday said it was a “historic day for BP in Russia”.

“BP has invested in Russia for more than 20 years and for a decade we have been Russia’s largest foreign investor through our involvement with TNK-BP,” the new Rosneft board member added.

The FTSE oil firm has promised to return some of the cash it has banked from the TNK-BP deal to shareholders, and is expected to set the rest against its Gulf of Mexico spill liabilities.

BP further consolidated its bond with Rosneft as it said the pair would look at opportunities for joint project work.