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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russneft Interested in TNK-BP's Udmurtneft

RussneftMikhail Gutseriyev
Fast-growing oil firm Russneft wants to buy TNK-BP's Udmurtneft production unit and other assets in Russia and abroad in a move to join the Russian major league, the company's head said on Friday.

The privately owned, 280,000-barrel-per-day oil producer was created by company president Mikhail Gutseriyev with the help of Swiss-based oil trader Glencore in 2003 and has been actively buying oil producing and refining assets since then.

Gutseriyev said Russneft was examining seven assets and was interested in Udmurtneft, but declined to elaborate.

TNK-BP, Russia's second-largest oil firm, plans to sell Udmurtneft, which has reserves of around 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent and produces around 120,000 bpd, or 6 million tons per year, Vedomosti reported on Friday.

Industry sources believe Russneft is the most likely winner of the Udmurtneft auction, but would have to compete with China National Petroleum Corp. and India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp.

Gutseriyev also confirmed Russneft's intention to buy a 49 percent stake in Slovak oil pipeline operator Transpetrol from stricken firm Yukos and said the deal could total $100 million.

He denied that Glencore, which has stakes in Russneft assets, had taken a share in three more. He said Russneft had reduced its share in Beliye Nochi, Gogoil and Kominedra to 51 percent in order to transfer the stakes to entities affiliated with Russneft, which would help it to consolidate its regional units.

 CNPC plans to bid for Udmurtneft, but it sees little chance of winning the China National Petroleum Corp. asset, a Beijing-based source close to CNPC said on Friday. The source said that it was almost certain that Udmurtneft would go to a Russian concern.