MOSCOW, October 17 (Itar-Tass) —— The state-owned oil company Rosneft has not asked the government so far to approve its possible purchase of AAR’s share in TNK-BP, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said.
“There has been no request for approval so far,” he said on Wednesday, October 17. “I know that commercial negotiations are underway. As far as know, a letter of intent has been signed. But there is no legally binding agreement.”
He stressed that the deal would require the approval of the government.
The British television company Sky News said earlier in the day, citing its own sources, that the AAR consortium had signed a preliminary agreement with Rosneft to sell its share in TNK-BP to the state-owned oil major for 28 billion U.S. dollars.
The AAR consortium, made up of private Russian shareholders of TNK-BP, and BP own 50 percent of shares in TNK-BP.
Officially neither AAR nor Rosneft have so far announced any preliminary agreement. When asked by Itar-Tass, BP officials refused to comment on the Sky News report. All attempts to get in touch with AAR officials proved futile – the consortium’s press service did not asnwer the telephone.