New York - TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil producer, is a joint venture between BP and AAR, a consortium of Russian billionaire shareholders. The company has been mired in a corporate dispute after AAR blocked BP's deal with another Russian oil company, Rosneft.
BP said in a statement on Friday that it has received "unsolicited indications of interest" for its share in TNK-BP and is looking to pursue a potential sale which is "consistent with BP's commitment to maximising shareholder value".
TNK-BP represents 27 of BP's reserves and 29% of its production, according to the British company's latest annual report.
BP's spokesperson in Russia, Vladimir Buyanov, told The Associated Press that the information about the potential buyer is confidential.
He declined to specify whether the offer might have come from the Russian shareholders. Buyanov said the shareholders' agreement between BP and AAR requires both parties to notify the other of offers to acquire their holdings.
BP's 50% stake in the Russian oil producer could fetch more than $15bn as TNK-BP's market capitalisation, based on its share prices at the Russian MICEX stock exchange, hovered around $31.5bn on Friday afternoon.
But in Moscow TNK-BP's shares at the MICEX slumped by 6% in afternoon trading.
BP, however, stressed that "there can be no guarantee that any transaction will take place".