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Rosneft Holds Talks With Venezuela on Buying German Refineries

OAO Rosneft is continuing talks with Petroleos de Venezuela SA about buying its stake in Germany’s Ruhr Oel GmbH to gain access to European refineries.

Rosneft hasn’t made a final decision on PDVSA’s stake and hasn’t held talks with BP Plc its half of Ruhr Oel, Peter O’Brien, the Russian oil producer’s vice president for strategy, said today at a conference in Moscow.

Russian oil producers are seeking access to refining assets in Europe and Asia to boost the value of their crude supplies. Rosneft would follow OAO Lukoil, which bought almost half of ERG SpA’s Sicilian refinery in 2008, and OAO Surgutneftegaz, which acquired 21.2 percent of Hungary’s Mol Nyrt. last year.

Ruhr Oel owns Gelsenkirchen and stakes in the Bayernoil, Miro and Schwedt plants, as well as the Mulheim chemical plant, according to Bloomberg data and the BP website.

BP doesn’t plan to sell its stake in Ruhr Oel, Jeremy Huck, the company’s president for Russia, said today. In July, BP increased the amount it plans to raise from asset sales to as much as $30 billion over 18 months as it seeks fund to pay for cleanup costs and liabilities from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in U.S. history.

Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer and refiner, is looking to expand overseas as part of the Consorcio Ruso venture with Russia’s other four largest crude producers to develop heavy oil deposits in Venezuela. It also has a venture with Crescent Petroleum Co. to drill for gas in the sheikhdom of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

PDVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company, held talks about six years ago on selling its stake in Ruhr Oel to Russia’s Alfa Group, one of BP’s partners in the TNK-BP venture, the British company said at the time.

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