BP: Could Use Some TNK-BP Sale Proceeds To Increase Rosneft Stake

BP: Could Use Some TNK-BP Sale Proceeds To Increase Rosneft Stake

LONDON--BP PLC (BP.LN) said Friday it aims to stay in Russia for decades to come and could use some of the proceeds from the potential sale of its stake in TNK-BP (TNBP.RS) to increase its share in Russian oil giant OAO Rosneft (ROSN.RS).

The U.K. energy giant said it wanted to continue its investments in Russia regardless of who it sells its TNK-BP stake to.

"If we're successful at selling our stake we'd be interested in buying a share in Rosneft," a BP spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires. BP already has a 1.3% stake in Rosneft.

Rosneft is in talks with BP on buying the U.K. company's 50% stake in its troubled joint venture TNK-BP. Analysts have said that Rosneft could pay for the stake, which is worth an estimated $25 billion--with stock and cash.

Talks are still ongoing on the stake sale and it isn't definite that Rosneft will buy the TNK-BP stake or indeed how a final deal might look, the spokesman said.

Earlier Friday, Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin said Rosneft could raise the money to buy BP's stake in TNK-BP on the markets.

BP Chief Executive Robert Dudley and Chairman Carl Henric Svanberg met with Mr. Sechin and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to reaffirm the company's interest in Russia.

TNK-BP, Russia's No. 3 crude oil producer, has been troubled by tensions between BP and the four Soviet-born billionaires, known as AAR, who own the other half.

AAR last year blocked plans for a broad alliance between BP and Rosneft in the courts.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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