• ACI Russia

08/04/1998 14:42:21 BP says Russian SIDANKO to make debt announcement

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Russian oil company SIDANKO <CHGZ.RTS> was

expected to make an announcement "in the near future" on resolving its

outstanding federal debt obligations, British Petroleum <BP.L> chief executive

John Browne said on Tuesday.

BP has a 10 percent stake in SIDANKO. Industry sources say the Russian

company is also believed to be about to announce a business strategy and

management structure.

SIDANKO and Onako <ORNB.RTS> have until Wednesday to cover their debt to the

Russian budget or have access to export pipelines cut, a Russian Fuel Ministry

spokesman said on Tuesday.

Browne, presenting BP's first half year results, said BP's $20 million

losses in SIDANKO were temporary and would be recouped.

"Not everything is going sour in Russia," Browne said in response to a

question, adding that there were some "positive signs." Oil prices had suffered

but the company was working hard to lower costs.

BP announced a 29 percent drop in second quarter profits to 542 million

pounds, but the underlying performance improved by $150 million by the end of

the second quarter.

((London Newsroom, +44 171 542 5387, fax +44 171 542 4453,


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