Rosneft Pitches Joint Venture to EU

Rosneft on Monday proposed setting up a joint oil venture with the European Union, in which it would contribute production assets while EU companies could offer refining and marketing facilities.

"It's necessary to create full-scale projects to show to European customers why oil prices are so high," Rosneft CEO Sergei Bogdanchikov told reporters in Madrid. Preliminary talks have already been held, he added.

Oil prices doubled in the last 12 months and reached a record $143.67 per barrel Monday on speculation of possible supply disruptions in the Middle East. High fuel prices have sparked protests by farmers and motorists in Europe, which is the largest consumer of Russian oil and natural gas.

Bogdanchikov said Royal Dutch Shell and Total could contribute their refining and retail assets and possibly transportation businesses to the proposed venture.

Separately, Bogdanchikov said Rosneft wants to expand projects in Asia and Africa and is examining refining assets in Eastern Europe.

He also stressed that his company was not interested in buying a stake in embattled rival TNK-BP, saying his company was more focused on growing organically.

Bloomberg, Reuters