26 Feb 2010 20:02

TNK-BP interested in buying stake in Lithuania's Mazeikiu Nafta

TYUMEN. Feb 26 (Interfax) - TNK-BP is interested in buying a stake in Lithuanian petroleum concern Mazeikiu Nafta (MN) if the acquisition can be economically justified, German Khan, the Russian-British oil company's executive director, said in an interview with the Russia Today TV channel.

Khan said TNK-BP had long been interested in becoming an MN shareholder owing to its ties with its Polish partners and that it would look closely at the option if it is presented again and be prepared to hold talks.

PKN Orlen bought 84% of MN, which is now known as Orlen Lietuva, for $2.34 billion in 2006. Russia's Lukoil , TNK-BP and Kazakhstan's KazMunayGas were also candidates to buy the asset.

Russia stopped pumping crude to the refinery using the Druzhba pipeline in July 2006 due to pipeline disrepair.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said on February 24 that PKN Orlen could sell 25% of Orlen Lietuva to a Russian strategic investor in return for guarantees that Russia will resume crude oil supplies along the Druzhba pipeline. Rosneft was also named as a possible buyer, as was Surgutneftegas .

Rosneft chief Sergei Bogdanchikov told reporters on February 26 that the company had not had talks on the issue of acquiring Orlen Lietuva. "There have been no contacts on that topic," Bogdanchikov said. "We study everything on the market and meet with various companies, but the distance between meeting and purchasing is enormous."