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Clare Burnett

Member Article

Russia's second richest billionaire in North Sea oil fight with government

The UK government has said it will block the sale of 12 North Sea oil and gas fields to a Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman, Russia’s 2nd richest man worth around $15.6 billion.

According to Forbes he is the 48th richest person in the world. Fridman has threatened legal action against the British government for blocking his acquisition.

The North Sea assets are owned by German company RWE Dea, which is being sold to a group backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, but the Department of Energy said it opposed the deal “in its current form”.

Ed Davey, energy secretary, cited fears over the effect on UK oil and gas production of any tightening of sanctions against Russia

The deal could run counter to sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine, since Mikhail Fridman, of Ukrainian origin, is a potential target for such measures.

The Department of Energy said in a statement it had concerns about the effect of “possible future sanctions” on Mr Fridman and his LetterOne fund.

In response, German power firm RWE, which owns RWE Dea, said the €5 billion (£3.6bn) deal to sell its subsidiary to LetterOne would go ahead as planned on Monday.

As part of the deal, LetterOne is creating a new subsidiary, L1 Energy, to be run by former BP chief executive Lord Browne.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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