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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: Rosneft Courts Share Buyers

From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
By BENOÎT FAUCON
July 3, 2006

Russian state-owned oil company OAO Rosneft is courting international oil companies to join its roughly $10 billion initial public offering with the promise of better access to Russian oil and gas reserves, people familiar with the matter said.

The strategy as the July listing in Moscow and London draws near is evidence of the rising assertiveness of state-controlled companies in the Russian oil sector.

BP PLC of the U.K., Anglo-Dutch major Royal Dutch Shell PLC; India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp., or ONGC; China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec; and China National Petroleum Corp. are among the companies that have been offered a large share of Rosneft’s IPO, said people involved in both sides of the talks.

ONGC has confirmed it is interested in the IPO seen by many as expensive. Rosneft, Shell and BP declined to comment. CNPC couldn’t be reached.

The people familiar with the IPO said Russian investors have shown enthusiasm for the listing, which is set to raise between $8.5 billion and $11.65 billion. But U.K.-based institutional investors have been slow to respond to the offer, the people said. The final price will be set July 13.

Write to Benoît Faucon at [email protected]

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