* Rosneft to acquire 30 pct stake in North Atlantic Drilling
* NADL to get Rosneft's 150 land drilling rigs
By Vladimir Soldatkin and Balazs Koranyi
MOSCOW/OSLO, Aug 22 Russia's top crude oil
producer Rosneft will sell drilling rigs to Norway's
North Atlantic Drilling Ltd (NADL) in return for shares
in the firm, going ahead with an earlier agreed deal despite
sanctions over Ukraine.
Rosneft and its head Igor Sechin, a long-standing ally of
Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been sanctioned by the
West over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, limiting the
firm's access to international financial markets.
Earlier this month, Norway decided to join the United States
and European Union in the punitive measures against Moscow.
Although the sanctions do not stop Rosneft from signing the
agreement, the Kremlin-controlled firm may face difficulties in
funding the deal as its access to the capital markets is limited
by the punitive measures.
But a source close to the deal said that the main component
is the asset swap, rather than cash. A Rosneft spokesman
declined to comment on the amount of cash the firm would need to
fund the deal.
In a separate statement, NADL said that Rosneft will get an
approximately 30 percent stake in the company by the issue of
new shares at the previously agreed price of $9.25 per share,
with the balance between the value of the rigs and the new
shares being paid to NADL in cash.
The deal was first announced in May.
The Russian and Norwegian firms had already entered into a
drilling agreement worth up to $4.25 billion in July.
Rosneft has been expanding its business rapidly after the
$55 billion acquisition of Anglo-Russian oil firm TNK-BP last
year. It has said it was aiming to develop its servicing
business and dropped its cooperation with Russia's biggest
oilfield services company Eurasia Drilling.
Following the transaction, Seadrill Limited, the
world's largest driller by market capitalisation, will continue
to own more than 50 percent of NADL.
Seadrill Limited currently owns 70 percent of the
outstanding shares in the company, which has a market
capitalisation of approximately $2.4 billion.
Rosneft will be entitled to two out of seven seats on
NADL's board once the deal is completed.
NADL said it would acquire Rosneft's 150 land drilling rigs
along with new five-year contracts with Rosneft for these units.
"The final parameters of the deal, including the amount of
Rosneft's cash contribution in NADL's charter capital, will be
defined upon receiving corporate and accountant's approvals
which is expected till the end of the 2014," Rosneft said in a
(Editing by Michael Urquhart)