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BP Chief: TNK-BP Its Structure

The British Petroleum oil giant has no plans to change the shareholding structure of its Russian

The British Petroleum oil giant has no plans to change the shareholding structure of its Russian joint venture TNK-BP or to acquire the assets of Sibneft Oil Company, reports.

The statement was made by BP?s chairman John Browne on Wednesday, June 1, following a May 30 publication in the Russian Kommersant daily which reported that Browne was offering the stake of his Russian partners in his recent negotiations with Gazrpom?s chief Alexei Miller.

As MosNews reported on Monday, May 30, quoting the paper?s report, Browne made the offer to the Gazprom chief during a meeting in Moscow which took place on Friday, May 27, and was also attended by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

Following the publication TNK-BP spokeswoman Marina Dracheva denied the report. ?From the company?s standpoint there is no substance in the Kommersant assumptions,? she told Reuters. The paper?s analysts supposed that such an offer meant that TNK owners Mikhail Fridman and Viktor Vekselberg who each hold 25 percent in TNK-BP wanted to make a business exit and to transfer their assets abroad.

On Wednesday, June 1, Russia?s business daily Vedomosti published an interview with Lord Browne, in which he said: ?We are satisfied with our partners and the company?s shareholding structure and we have no plans to change anything.? The BP chief also denied rumors that TNK-BP plans to buy a 50-percent stake in Slavneft Oil Company from Sibneft. ?There are no such plans. We are quite content with what we have,? he said.

TNK-BP is Russia?s third largest oil company in terms of oil production volumes. The company has production assets in Eastern and Western Siberia and in the Volga-Urals region. In addition British Petroleum owns 49-percent stakes in the Sakhalin-4 and Sakhalin-5 oil and gas projects which are not currently being developed.