MOSCOW — BP’s board has approved an offer from the Russian state oil company, Rosneft, to buy most of BP’s business in Russia for cash and shares in Rosneft, further consolidating Russia’s control of its oil industry, an executive with knowledge of the decision said.
Under the terms of the deal, BP would remain in Russia but — initially at least — only as a minority investor in an oil company controlled by the government of President Vladimir V. Putin. Later, BP is hoping to use this new strategic tie with the Kremlin to drum up other business.
BP had been telegraphing its willingness to make a deal for some time, and Rosneft formally submitted an offer on Thursday to buy out BP’s 50 percent of a joint venture here called TNK-BP.
The board’s authorization allowed BP’s chief executive, Robert W. Dudley, to negotiate the final terms for BP’s sale of its Russian holdings within a range of acceptable combinations of cash and shares, the executive with knowledge of the decision said.