BP PLC is negotiating to acquire equity stakes in several large Russian oil companies, including OAO Yukos and Tyumen Oil Co, the Wall Street Journal quoted various sources as saying.
Tyumen president Simon Kukes said his shareholders are talking with BP and others about an equity sale.
People with knowledge of developments said the UK company is also negotiating with OAO Yukos, among others, the Journal reported. A Yukos official denied such talks are taking place.
All the talks are at an early stage, according to the people close to developments, who added that it could be months before BP is able to clinch a deal, if at all.
It is also unclear if BP intends to buy stakes in more than one company at this time.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building