* Rosneft to get at least $1.5 bln in pre-payment
* Follows BP-Rosneft shale oil exploration deal
* Sechin wants a motorbike trip across US
(Adds Sechin quotes, banks)
By Olesya Astakhova and Katya Golubkova
KHABAROVSK/MOSCOW, Russia, June 27 Rosneft
signed on Friday its second major agreement with BP
since sanctions were imposed on the Russian oil company's
chief executive, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, over
Russia's involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
The five-year agreement will supply BP with up to 12 million
tonnes of refined oil products and involves a pre-payment of at
least $1.5 billion arranged by leading global financial
institutions, Rosneft said.
Rosneft refined nearly 90 million tonnes of oil last year,
according to company figures.
Some Western firms have been wary of investment and business
in Russia since sanctions were imposed over the crisis in
Ukraine, where Moscow denies accusations of orchestrating a
rebellion by pro-Russian separatists.
But the sanctions have had only a limited impact on the
Russian energy industry, a cornerstone of the country's
$2-trillion economy, resulting mostly in higher borrowing costs
for domestic companies.
Since the sanctions were imposed, executives from Total
, BP, Statoil and ExxonMobil
have visited Russia, underlining the importance they attach to
business with the world's leading oil producer with current
output of around 10.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
Last year, Rosneft announced deals worth more than $15
billion to sell crude oil and other products to BP, which now
owns almost a fifth of Rosneft following Rosneft's acquisition
of Anglo-Russian oil firm TNK-BP last year.
Friday's signing also follows an agreement by BP and Rosneft
in May to jointly explore in Russia for hard-to-recover shale
Such deals do not violate sanctions over the Ukraine crisis
because Rosneft has not been included on any sanctions list, but
Rosneft's chief executive Igor Sechin had a visa ban and asset
freeze slapped on him by the United States after Russia annexed
the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in March.
"I am working here with Rosneft. It's a business between the
companies. I don't comment on personal sanctions," BP's chief
executive Bob Dudley told reporters in Khabarovsk in Russia's
far east after attending the signing ceremony with other members
of the Rosneft board of directors.
Sechin told reporters that he had no accounts or assets in
the United States but he felt the impact from sanctions.
"Sanctions don't allow me to see the beauty of their (U.S.)
nature, to learn their culture, show my kids their nature," he
said. "I wanted to take a motorbike trip across America but this
decision denies me such an opportunity."
Eight banks have signed a $2-billion prepayment facility
backing the long-term delivery of crude oil products between
Russian oil giant Rosneft and BP, Rosneft said on Friday.
The banks include Deutsche Bank, Bank of China, Societe
Generale, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking
Corporation, two banking sources close to the deal said.
Rosneft also said the prepayment facility will increase
further as several other banks also have shown interest in
joining the deal, adding that supplies to BP could start next
Bankers earlier this month said partly state-owned UK lender
Lloyds Bank had pulled out of the $1.5-$2 billion trade
finance deal to avoid risking any political embarrassment for
Under the terms of the latest deal, Rosneft said oil product
deliveries could be substituted for supplies of oil but gave no
explanation of the circumstances under which this could happen.
Such pre-payment supply deals have raised billions of
dollars for Rosneft, which borrowed $30.1 billion in two
separate loans in 2012 and 2013 to help finance last year's $55
billion acquisition of TNK-BP, once Russia's third largest oil
Last year Rosneft also agreed an $8.32 billion loan with
commodity traders Glencore and Vitol and a $1.5 billion
pre-payment loan with Swiss-based trading house Trafigura.
However, some Russian energy companies have recently been
talking to their customers about a possible switch to using
currencies other than the U.S. dollar in transactions to
minimise sanction-related risks.
Other companies could also now follow the example of
Surgutneftegas, Russia's fourth-biggest oil producer
with an average daily output of 1.2 million barrels of crude,
which according to its accounts has stockpiled over 1 trillion
roubles ($30 billion) of cash instead of paying out higher
dividends or making large acquisitions.
Meanwhile Lukoil, Russia's second-biggest oil
producer, has postponed an up to $2 billion Eurobond issue until
the autumn because of a spike in borrowing costs.
($1 = 33.6595 Russian roubles)
(Additional reporting by Sandrine Bradley in London; Writing by
Katya Golubkova; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Jason Neely)