MOSCOW Feb 7 Rosneft, the world's
largest listed oil company by output, is offering China a stake
in a yet-to-be-built petrochemical plant (VNHK) in Russia's Far
East in a move to widen cooperation, Chief Executive Igor Sechin
said on Friday.
President Vladimir Putin has made cooperation with
energy-hungry Asia a priority for Russian companies as their
business with fragile European economies falters and as energy
deposits in East Siberia are being developed.
In 2010, Rosneft and China's CNPC agreed to team up in
building a refinery in Tianjin, China, with capacity of 13
million tonnes per year (260,000 barrels per day) but the two
companies have yet to agree on terms to start construction.
"In exchange for our participation in the Tianjin refinery,
we made a proposal to our Chinese partners. We are ready to
consider our Chinese partners as investors in VNHK," Sechin told
Russian news agencies in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
On Friday, Russia opens the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
The VNHK petrochemical complex with expected capacity of 3.4
million tonnes per year at the first stage, is a bone of
contention between Rosneft and oil pipeline monopoly Transneft,
which wants Rosneft to finance the expansion of the East
Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline that will feed the plant.
China has already outstripped Germany as the largest buyer
of Russia's oil with pipeline shipments totalling 1.949 million
tonnes in January, according to the Russian Energy Ministry.
Last year, the Russian state-controlled company signed a
memorandum with CNPC to tap Russian oilfields jointly, in
particular the Srednebotuobinsk deposit in East Siberia, which
is feeding the ESPO pipeline.
The $55 billion takeover of oil firm TNK-BP last year
allowed Rosneft to boost its share of Russian oil output to over
40 percent, and the company now aims to become the country's
second-largest gas producer after Gazprom by 2020.
Rosneft and ExxonMobil have agreed to build a plant
to liquefy natural gas in the Far East with first train capacity
of 5 million tonnes a year to feed fast-growing Asian markets
Sechin said on Friday that Rosneft may consider building
another LNG plant to monetise its offshore gas reserves but did
not elaborate on possible partners, timing or location.