The Russian government favored OAO Bashneft in its winning bid for the country’s largest undistributed oil fields last year, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, the billionaire owner of the oil producer’s parent company, AFK Sistema, said in an interview with Vedomosti.
It was important for the state to set up another vertically integrated company to increase competition, while handing over the Trebs and Titov fields to companies such as OAO Lukoil or OAO Surgutneftegas “wouldn’t have made a quality difference on the market,” Yevtushenkov told the daily.
Bashneft, whose assets are mainly maturing fields, needed a “favor,” similar to those once given to Lukoil and Surgutneftegas, he told the newspaper.
Bashneft was the only bidder for Trebs and Titov in Russia’s Arctic at the December tender. Surgutneftegas failed to make a necessary cash deposit. Applications from Lukoil, TNK-BP, and India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp were rejected.