Russia’s government announced plans to privatize a number of energy-related companies this year, including Rosneft and Bashneft, Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev said, to plug a hole in the country’s budget. Russia’s privatisation plan could fetch between RUB 500 and 800 billion (USD 6.34 and 10.15 billion), according to a Reuters report.
“Our proposals that have been approved in general by the country’s leaders include assets of the fuel and energy sector, such as Rosneft and Bashneft. There are other assets as well,” he said in an interview with NTV television channel.
One of the potential buyers to emerge is Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil producer and the largest privately held oil company, which is said to be interested in buying shares in Bashneft. The government now owns 75% of Bashneft, after a Russian court ruled that the privatization of Bashneft by its main shareholder, industrial group AFK Sistema, was unlawful. According to local media, the Russian government has prepared a decree to reduce the state’s share in Bashneft by up to 25%.
In its 2014 annual report, Bashneft reported revenues of RUB 637.3 billion (USD 8.08 billion) and net income of RUB 106.1 billion (USD 1.35 billion). The company operates 140 oil and natural gas fields in Russia, with an annual production of 16 million tonnes. Bashneft owns three oil refineries located in Ufa, in the Republic of Bashkortostan, with a combined capacity of 820,000 barrels per day. It also has a retail network of 100 stations.
Rosneft, Russia’s leading integrated oil company, is majority owned by the government of Russia. Its largest shareholder (69.5%) is ROSNEFTEGAZ OJSC, which is fully owned by the Russian government, while BP, through BP Russian Investments Limited, owns 19.75% of Rosneft’s registered capital. Rosneft became Russia’s leading exploration and production company after buying the assets of Yukos, the former Russian oil giant, at state-run auctions. Rosneft reported sales revenues of RUB 5,503 billion (USD 69.8 billion) and net income of RUB 350 billion (USD 4.44 billiion) in 2014.