Rosneft to push on with BP deal - Sechin

MOSCOW, March 25 Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:10am EDT

MOSCOW, March 25 (Reuters) - Russian oil major Rosneft (ROSN.MM) said on Friday it would push ahead with its plans to form a strategic alliance with BP (BP.L), despite an arbitration ruling putting the deal on hold.

Rosneft's chairman, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, said that there was "no direct link" between BP and Rosneft's plans to hunt for oil in the Arctic offshore and undertake a $16 billion share swap.

He also said Rosneft was not in talks to buy out the local tycoons who own half of BP's Russian venture TNK-BP TNBP.MM and won an arbitration ruling to put the deal on hold because it violates TNK-BP's shareholder agreement.

BP said on Thursday it would seek a further opinion on whether it can go ahead and exchange 5 percent of its own stock for a 10 percent stake in state-controlled Rosneft, separately from the offshore deal. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya, Writing by Douglas Busvine)

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