Rosneft says it has received new proposals from BP

18th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia's state-run oil firm Rosneft said on Wednesday it had received new cooperation proposals from BP after their joint Arctic exploration agreement collapsed this week.

The Russian giant did not give details nor make clear whether they included a potential new Arctic agreement covering joint exploration of Russia's northern reserves.

The statement said the offers were made as the sides tried to negotiate a way out of a dispute between BP and its TNK-BP Russian joint venture which scuppered the $16 billion deal.

"As a result of the negotiations... Rosneft has received proposals going outside the framework of previously concluded agreements," the Rosneft statement said.

Rosneft said these offers' discussion did not require the company to extend the Monday deadline of the original agreement.

"These proposals make it possible to discuss further cooperation outside the framework of the already lapsed agreement," Russia's biggest oil producer said.

The tie-up's collapse left Rosneft without a partner who could provide it with the equipment and technological know-how to tap the remote fields and then deliver their oil to market.

BP had for its part been hoping to use the three Kara Sea fields to fuel a recovery from the hit to its image and finance dealt by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The British company and its local partners issued a statement on Tuesday that stressed their commitment to Russia and Rosneft.

The two sides "see significant advantages in continuing to deepen this dialogue and cooperation with Rosneft," the statement said.

Rosneft board member Andrei Kostin said Tuesday the company had been happy with BP as a partner and was willing to work with it again.

But Rosneft's statement from Wednesday said the firm would specifically address the issue of joint Arctic exploration at a later date.

"Rosneft will disclose (the details) of its Arctic shelf field development programme in the nearest future," the Rosneft statement said.

Analysts have identified the US multinationals ExxonMobil and Chevron along with the Anglo-Dutch firm Royal Dutch Shell as the front runners in joint Arctic projects.

© 2011 AFP

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