Chemistry Board

BP PLC have agreed to sell its 50% stake in the lucrative but problematic Russian oil venture TNK-BP to OAO Rosneft, a deal that would dramatically alter the British energy giant's presence in a country that is the world's largest energy producer.

Rosneft announced a two-part deal worth around $55 billion that gives British oil company BP a stake of 19.75 percent in the state-controlled Russian energy firm and two seats on the board, and offers an exit for the TNK-BP's other shareholders AAR, as well.

The agreement with BP folds BP's half of TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil company, into Rosneft, in exchange for cash and Rosneft stock. AAR would get $28 billion in cash, but the two deals are independent of each other, Rosneft said

It allows BP to end a stormy relationship with AAR, and to pursue closer ties with a Kremlin that exerts a much tighter hold on the oil industry than it did in the 1990s when BP first invested in Russia.

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