TNK-BP aims to discuss dividends "over coming weeks"

MOSCOW Fri Oct 5, 2012 11:03am EDT

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MOSCOW Oct 5 (Reuters) - Russia's third-largest crude producer TNK-BP, in which BP has put its 50 percent stake up for sale, said on Friday its board of directors will discuss a possible dividend pay out in the coming weeks.

In July, AAR - BP's partners in the TNK-BP venture - blocked a $1 billion dividend from the Russian oil business. Last year, dividends from TNK-BP accounted for $3.7 billion of its $22.2 billion of cashflow.

"The board will consider the recommendation and the issue of dividends more broadly over the coming weeks," TNK-BP said in a statement after a board meeting on Friday.

TNK-BP said the board also discussed the company's strong current cash position and asked management to review the group's cash flow projections.

BP has reaped $19 billion in dividends from Russia's third-largest oil producer since it was created in 2003 from the merger of its Russian operations with those of the AAR consortium of four Soviet-born billionaires - more than double its original investment. But the relationship between the partners, shaky for years, has deteriorated badly since early 2011.

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