Rosneft vows to fight TNK-BP

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Russia's state oil giant Rosneft said Friday it had no intention of breaking off its strategic alliance with BP and striking a new agreement with the British firm's Russian joint venture.

The statement from the country's largest oil company came after BP's Russian venture TNK-BP announced plans to try to break up the $16 billion share-swap and joint exploration agreement between BP and Rosneft and strike its own deal with the Russian company.

January's agreement would give Rosneft five percent of BP's ordinary voting shares in exchange for approximately 9.5 percent of Rosneft's stock.

Rosneft vowed to fight TNK-BP's attempt and stressed that it had no intention of holding talks with the British-Russian venture.

"Rosneft once again underscores that it did not conduct and is not conducting any negotiations with the AAR group or TNK-BP," the company said in reference to the group of billionaires who make up the Russian half of the venture.

"TNK-BP has never been considered a potential participant in the alliance due to its lack of required competence," the statement added.

BP and Rosneft have also agreed to explore and develop Rosneft's three licensed blocks on the Arctic continental shelf -- a 125,000 square kilometre (50 square mile) region said to contain five billion tonnes of oil and 3.0 trillion cubic metres of gas.

Its implementation has been blocked by a London court after TNK-BP argued that the deal violated the venture's shareholders agreement with BP.

© 2011 AFP

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