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TNK-BP Holds Talks With Buyers for Linik Refinery, Khan Says

TNK-BP, the Russian crude producer half-owned by BP Plc (BP/), is holding talks on selling its Linik oil refinery in Ukraine, after struggling to keep the plant profitable in the face of cheap fuel imports.

Several offers have been made, TNK-BP Executive Director German Khan told reporters today in Moscow, without naming the potential buyers. Khan is one of the billionaire shareholders who own the other 50 percent of TNK-BP.

TNK-BP decided to cut half of its staff in Ukraine and split the refinery into a separate unit after the operations lost money in the previous two years, according to an April 9 statement. The Linik refinery, in the city of Lisichansk, was halted indefinitely in March and the company’s retail outlets switched to imports, Khan said April 12.

The Moscow-based company had sought the introduction of quotas or duties on imported fuels from Ukraine’s government. Ukrainian refineries run by TNK-BP and Russian oil producer OAO Lukoil suffer from cheap imports from Belarus and Kazakhstan, the International Energy Agency said in February of last year.

The Ukrainian operations had a net loss of $68 million in 2010 and $23 million last year, according to the April 9 statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow at sbierman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Torrey Clark at tclark8@bloomberg.net

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