The head of Russian energy giant Gazprom's oil arm, OAO Gazprom Neft, denied reports that the group is looking to buy BP's stake in the UK and Russian joint venture TNK-BP.
"We haven't received an offer to buy BP's stake, we haven't looked into possibility of acquiring BP's stake in TNK-BP, we haven't offered to acquire BP's stake in TNK-BP ourselves," said Gazprom Neft's head Alexander Dyukov, according to Reuters.
The comments follow widespread speculation that either Gazprom or Rosneft approached BP, in a bid to snap up its 50 percent stake in the embattled company.
At the beginning of June, BP revealed that it was considering selling its stake in TNK-BP, after being approached by a number of "unsolicited approaches".
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In a statement, it confirmed that it had notified its partner, Alfa Access Renova (AAR), which consists of a group of four Soviet-born billionaires, of its intention to pursue a potential sale, which could mark the end of one of the most adventurous energy business ventures in history.
Market participants immediately suspected that a Russian government back energy group, such as Gazprom or Rosneft could be in the running, after the 50-50 owned UK and Russian company has encountered a troublesome relationship.
However, unnamed sources cited in the media said that Rosneft is not a potential and with Gazprom's oil arm now denying the reports, it leaves little room for guessing which Russian government backed energy firm it could be.
Shares in Europe's second-biggest oil company BP is down by 1.50 percent as of 1230 GMT. The share price stands at 407.83p.
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