BP on Thursday started talks with its Soviet-born partners in the Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, about the potential sale of its share.
TNK-BP contributed more than 90 percent of BP's dividends for last year and increased production, unlike BP's other assets, according to the billionaire partners.
BP said it is entering into 90-day talks after the billionaires, represented by the Alfa Access Renova consortium, formally notified the British oil producer Wednesday of their interest in the purchase of a part or all of BP's shares in the 50-50 venture.
“BP is also able to and will enter into negotiations with other interested parties in parallel for the sale of its share in TNK-BP,” BP said in a statement.
Alfa Access Renova said Wednesday that BP was free to negotiate but unable to conclude deals with any other interested parties until after the expiry of the 90-day period.
As previously, BP warned in the statement that there could be no guarantee that any transaction will take place. TNK-BP is Russia's third-largest oil producer with some assets in Ukraine, Brazil, Venezuela and Vietnam.