Rosneft 'may seek compensation' from BP over Arctic deal

25th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

State oil firm Rosneft may seek compensation from British oil giant BP over a joint Arctic oil exploration project blocked by the courts, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Friday.

Asked whether Rosneft intended to seek compensation from BP, the Russian energy tsar responded: "Why only BP?"

"The company will weigh who is at fault for the break-up," Sechin said in reference to both the British firm and its Russian joint venture TNK-BP, which has been trying to block the deal in court.

"There are certain losses there (at Rosneft) already," he added.

Sechin, who also serves as Rosneft board chairman, threatened in an interview last month to seek damages from either BP or its Russian joint venture if the Rosneft deal falls though.

An arbitration court ruled Thursday that the agreement breaks the TNK-BP shareholder agreement, although BP has vowed to seek a way to complete the $16 billion tie-up.

But Sechin stressed that the setback will not alter Rosneft's plans to explore the Arctic, no matter whom its partner might be.

"Arctic exploration will continue in any event," Sechin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

"BP suits us as a partner, but the current complications should in no way affect our overall plans on Arctic exploration," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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