LUKOIL says plans to buy BP share in CPC pipeline

Sept 6. Reuters

LUKOIL says plans to buy BP share in CPC pipelineRussia’s oil firm LUKOIL hopes Kazakhstan will agree this week to its plan to buy BP’s share of their joint venture, which has a minority stake in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), LUKOIL’s chief said.

“We hope the agreement will be signed within a week,” LUKOIL President Vagit Alekperov told reporters on Saturday. “The Kazakh side does not object to LUKOIL remaining the only participant (in the joint venture).”

Alekperov also said that LUKOIL would keep its original investment plans for the next two or three years and could expand them if it wins tenders in Iraq.

CPC, a privately owned pipeline linking Kazakhstan’s Tengiz oilfield with the Russian port of Novorossiisk, is owned 31 percent by Russia and 10 percent by Kazakhstan. The rest is shared among private companies united in a consortium led by Chevron and includes two joint ventures in which BP participates.

BP, which had controlled 6.6 percent of CPC project between he two, is quitting the project because of disagreements over a CPC expansion programme, drafted by Russian pipeline operator Transneft.

BP agreed in December to sell its share in the Kazakhstan Pipeline Venture, which controls 1.75 percent of CTC, to its partner, Kazakhstan’s oil company Kazmunaigaz, for $250 million.

LUKOIL, Russia’s biggest private oil producer, seeks to buy 46 percent of the shares owned by BP in their joint ventrue Lukarko.

Russia, Kazakhstan and private shareholders agreed late last year the main principles of expanding the pipeline to allow it pump 67 million tonnes of oil a year by 2013-14 compared with 32.2 million tonnes in 2008.