15 Oct 2010 15:34

Russia, Venezuela ink agreement to back TNK-BP buying BP assets in Venezuela

MOSCOW. Oct 15 (Interfax) - The Russian Energy Ministry and the Venezuelan Oil Ministry have signed an agreement to support TNK-BP's acquisition of BP assets in the South American country.

The signing ceremonies are being broadcast on Russia 24 television, with Deputy Russian Energy Minister Sergei Kudryashov signing for his country and Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez signing for his.

The board of directors of TNK-BP on October 1 gave the go-ahead to management to enter into talks with BP and make a formal offer to buy assets in Vietnam and Venezuela.

Venezuela has allowed BP, which is selling off a host of assets in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, to sell its assets there. Experts say the Venezuela-based assets are worth $800 million.

BP owns 16.66% of Petromonagas in Venezuela and has a minority stake in Petroperija and Boqueron, projects controlled by state energy company PDVSA. BP is also a participant in a project to develop gas fields on Vietnam's shelf.

TNK-BP is the third biggest oil producer in Russia. The company is owned 50-50 by BP and AAR, a consortium between Alfa Group, Access Industries and Renova. TNK-BO is part of a consortium of five Russian companies set up at the end of 2008 to work at the Junin-6 block in Venezuela.