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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TNK Blames BP Amoco for Delaying $500M Loan

Apparently frustrated over an unreleased $500 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Tyumen Oil Co. lashed out Tuesday at BP Amoco, saying the oil giant had led a campaign in Washington to delay the credit.

BP Amoco on Tuesday denied the claim.

The accusation is the latest twist in a fierce dispute between the two companies over control of producer Chernogorneft, a subsidiary of Sidanko, in which BP Amoco holds 10 percent.

"Our colleague BP Amoco made efforts in Washington so that the loan [disbursement] was slowed down," Tyumen Oil president Simon Kukes said Tuesday. "I do not expect the decision this year."

Tyumen Oil, or TNK, has been seeking a $197.6 million Ex-Im Bank guarantee to facilitate loans for the modernization of its affiliated Ryazan refinery. In addition, TNK sought a $298 million Ex-Im Bank guarantee so that it could attract loans for the development of Samotlor oil field under production the sharing agreement terms in western Siberia.

TNK had worked separately on financing both projects and had provided all documentation requested by the bank to receive approval for the guarantees, Kukes said.

But under BP Amoco pressure, both projects had been combined and put on hold in July, he said.

TNK has spent about $6.5 million on consultants for the projects, Kukes said.

Chase Manhattan investment bank has been consulting the oil company on financing both projects.

Since suspension of the Ex-Im Bank guarantees, TNK has missed out on the chance to secure loans totaling $200 million from ABB Finance and Commerzbank, Kukes said.

"U.S. Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees are a matter for the [U.S.] Congress and the bank," said Howard Chase, a BP Amoco spokesman when asked about Kukes' allegations.

The world major wants Chernogorneft to remain part of Sidanko and is aware of TNK's intentions to take control of the firm, he added.

TNK plans to start work at the Ryazan refinery with Russian-made equipment in the next six weeks. The company primarily plans to install commercially effective utilities worth $65 million. The $170 million total modernization project will be 20 percent less expensive due to the switch from U.S. to Russian equipment, Kukes said.