BP (NYSE:BP) is mulling a sale of its 50% stake in Russia’s TNK-BP, which accounts for as much as 29% of its production, after the British oil giant said it started receiving interest in the unit.
BP says it has received “unsolicited indications of interest regarding the potential acquisition” and has already informed its Russian partner, Alfa Access Renova (AAR), of its intention to explore a possible sale.
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The announcement follows the sudden resignation of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman as TNK-BP’s chief executive earlier this week in a reflection of the deepening rift between BP and AAR’s shareholders.
TNK-BP is Russia’s leading oil company, formed in 2003 from a merger between BP’s Russian oil and gas assets and the assets of AAR. The unit accounted for as much as 27% of BP’s hydrocarbon reserves last year and nearly 29% of its production.
The company said there is no guarantee that any transaction will take place and will make further announcements if appropriate.
AAR almost sold its 50% stake last year to BP and Russian oil products Rosneft for $34 billion, however the deal fell apart.