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BP says it is still obvious partner for Rosneft

The chairman of BP has said the company remains the “obviously favourable” partner to explore the Arctic with Rosneft, despite the failure of their £10bn tie-up last month.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley (right) with Rosneft president Eduard Khudainatov during the original signing of the share-swap and joint venture deal. Photo: EPA

By Rowena Mason, Energy Correspondent

6:00AM BST 09 Jun 2011

Carl-Henric Svanberg said BP is still optimistic about reaching a deal “in some form or another” after a planned share swap and exploration deal with the Kremlin-backed oil giant fell through.

Bob Dudley, the chief executive of BP, also implied that the company’s efforts to expand in Russia are not yet quite over.

“We’ve worked very hard on this with all the parties,” he said. “From BP’s view, it’s other parties that need to reach an agreement and in the meantime we are moving on.”

The alliance was frustrated because of an exclusivity agreement governing TNK-BP, the joint venture between BP and four oligarchs in Russia.

The four billionaires obtained a court order banning BP and Rosneft from exploring the Arctic together.

The two sides agreed a peace deal last month, but negotiations over the future of TNK-BP have restarted.

It emerged on Tuesday that the four Russians are considering their legal options for fear that the British oil giant will try to sell a stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft.

Mr Dudley said: “No notifications have been sent about the sale by any party and BP is not planning to sell shares in TNK-BP.”

Rosneft has been holding talks with BP’s rival Royal Dutch Shell over potentially replacing it as a partner for exploring the Arctic.

Separately, Shell has announced plans to develop a $2.5bn (£1.5bn) project to develop its Cardamom oil and gas field in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, the US offshore region hit by the BP oil spill last year.

The Cardamom field is located roughly 225 miles southwest of New Orleans. It is expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day at its peak and more than 140m barrels of oil during its lifespan.

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