CNPC may offer Rosneft US$6bn credit to meet Yukos costs

CHINA National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) is considering giving Russia’s Rosneft US$6 billion in credit for future oil shipments, according to a report in Russia’s Vedomosti daily. This credit would help the Russian state-owned giant pay for its controversial US$9.35 billion purchase of Yukos’ main production unit.

The newspaper said the deal was proposed during an early January visit to China by Russian energy minister Viktor Khristenko and Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov.

In meetings with CNCP management drafts and agreements between Rosneft and CNPC on the delivery of 48.4 million tons of Russian crude until 2010 were ironed out. During this meeting, CNPC agreed to provide the medium-term credit which would be guaranteed by the deliveries of the crude, Vedomosti said.

If the deal goes through, it will be the largest in Russian corporate history and amounts to the exact sum Russian banks lent abroad last year.

According to Vedomosti, citing a source close to the negotiations, Rosneft had offered CNPC a 20% stake in Yuganskneftegaz for the loan but the Chinese firm insisted on oil deliveries instead.