Lukoil denies interest in Brazil, OGX

Denial: Alekperov says Lukoil not interested in OGX

Lukoil president Vagit Alekperov has reportedly denied that the company has any interest in pursuing upstream projects in Brazil in the near future.

Speaking to reporters in the Italian city of Syracuse on Tuesday, Alekperov said the Russian independent had considered participating in the 11th tender round in Brazil, set for next month.

Lukoil, however, decided not to participate this time around, Moscow-based Prime news agency reported.

Alekperov also said Lukoil is not involved in negotiations to buy any Brazilian company.

He was responding to an earlier report from Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo that said Lukoil is in advanced negotiations to acquire a 40% stake in Brazilian oil company OGX.

The newspaper said Lukoil had hired a law firm to begin due diligence on a deal to acquire a piece of OGX prior to the May bid round.

OGX investors responded to the news by giving a 14% boost to the company's shares on Monday.

The company, led by flamboyant billionaire Eike Batista, has seen its stock plummet by 90% in the past 12 months as a confidence crisis has roiled Batista's empire.

OGX has denied any overtures from Lukoil.

Lukoil, which has limited greenfield opportunities in Russia’s upstream sector because of its private ownership, has been actively looking to invest into new projects outside the country to grow its business and improve margins, which are curtailed by high taxation at home.

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