TNK-BP says to acquire BP's Vietnam, Venezuela assets

18th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian oil company TNK-BP said Monday it had agreed a deal with its part-owner BP to acquire the troubled British oil giant's assets in Vietnam and Venezuela for 1.8 billion dollars.

TNK-BP, Russia's third largest oil company, is owned 50 percent by BP and 50 percent by a group of Russian billionaires including banking magnate Mikhail Fridman known collectively as Alfa Access-Renova (AAR).

BP has been considering selling a range of assets to finance its losses after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and TNK-BP has also expressed interest in buying BP assets in Algeria.

"The acquisitions in Venezuela and Vietnam mark a milestone in TNK-BP's strategic expansion in the global energy market," said Fridman, who is serving as acting chief executive of the company, in a TNK-BP statement.

BP's new chief executive, Robert Dudley, who replaced Tony Hayward after the oil spill catastrophe, said the acquisition would give TNK-BP a solid foundation to build its business outside Russia.

"These are robust businesses which offer both existing production and potential opportunities for future growth," he said.

TNK-BP almost imploded during a venomous shareholder conflict between the co-owners in 2008 but the dispute was patched up when shareholders agreed to appoint Maxim Barsky chief executive effective from January 1, 2011, with Fridman taking the reins in the interim.

© 2010 AFP

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