The race to buy BP's stake in equal UK and Russian joint venture TNK-BP has sped up - after Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft revealed it is its interest in potentially acquiring BP's stake at the embattled company.

In a statement, Rosneft, chaired by one of President Vladimir Putin's closest confidants Igor Sechin, said that it has informed BP of the group's interest in a potential acquisition of BP's 50% stake.

"As a result, the parties agreed to commence negotiations on this matter and signed a non-disclosure agreement" – said the group.

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".

Since then, there has been wide speculation as to who would buy the lucrative 50 percent BP stake.

Consensus highlighted Russian state-owned energy companies, such as Gazprom-Neft and Rosneft as the key potential bidders, however 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.

Analysts tell IBTimes UK that they wouldn't be surprised if Rosneft spurred on BP to sell its stake in the first place.

I'm Lianna Brinded. For more Business and Economy news for THIS full story check out our website:

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