We’re Not Looking for Rosneft Deal…Yet: Lukoil
Lukoil has no plans to deepen its ties with higher-profile Rosneft after the latter's deal with BP, at least not in the short term, Andrei Gaidamaka, Deputy Vice President at Lukoil told CNBC Thursday.
Reports on Thursday morning suggested that Russian state-owned energy firm Rosneft had formally offered BP $28 billion in cash and shares for BP's 50 percent stake in BP-TNK, BP's Russian venture.
That deal will make Rosneft the largest publicly traded oil producer. The deal is awaiting approval.
Lukoil, one of the world's largest privately-owned oil companies produces 2.2 percent of global crude output. This week marked its first decade listed on the London Stock Exchange.
"At the moment we're negotiating a number of issues (with Rosneft) but we don't have anything in the next month or so, " Gaidamaka said when probed about whether Lukoil would seek to benefit from a bigger Rosneft.
The company has an agreement with Rosneft regarding development of the Arctic shelf but also works with Gazprom, the natural gas company also controlled by the Russian state.
He denied that there was any implicit agreement with Rosneft that Lukoil assets were "off limits".
"This deal was an open market transaction and BP has been very open about its negotiations with all its partners. We have no assets for sale, " he said.
He added that Lukoil would not be seeking to get into the deal via its connections with Rosneft because it had "other projects to fund and take care of".
The BP-TNK partnership has been a poisoned chalice for BP in many respects. While it has been very lucrative, the partnership with AAR, the Russian oligarchs who own the other part of the BP-TNK venture, has been marred by bitter disputes.
Russia has a history of state influence in Russian business affairs and some argue that that interference was the "real" reason for the sale.
Neil Shearing, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics told CNBC.com that a "statist mentality" permeates Russian business but is particularly acute within the natural resources sector.
"It is clearly a factor within the BP deal, not least because it has been fantastically profitable.
There are wider issues about the business environment within Russia and relative to its peers in Eastern Europe its ranking in surveys of places to do business is low.
The change in politics has moved to a more statist model especially within the strategic sectors, " Shearing said.
Shearing said Rosneft's place in the premier league of oil companies was now secured, but its global ambitions remained opaque given its geographical limitations.
"Rosneft is still only in Russia and the other big oil production companies such as BP and Shell are multi-nationals with operations around the world which Rosneft does not have, " he added.
- By CNBC's Shai Ahmed, Follow her on Twitter @shaicnbc