Rosneft requests $42bn loan from Russian government

Rosneft Russia holds the largest combined oil and gas reserves in the world.

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Russia's state-controlled energy giant Rosneft has asked the Russian government for a $42bn (£25.2bn) loan, as it feels the impact of Western sanctions.

The government said it will consider the request from Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft, in the next two weeks.

Sanctions on Russia have limited Rosneft's ability to raise funds.

Rosneft has requested the money from the National Wealth Fund, which finances state pensions.

The US imposed sanctions on Rosneft and Novatek, Russia's second-largest gas producer, last month.

The US and EU have restricted sales of technology to the Russian oil industry.

'Reassess their self-sufficiency'

Russia's exports are almost all raw materials and about 60% of these are energy products.

David Spencer-Percival, chief executive of international energy recruitment firm Spencer Ogden, said: "[This is] the clearest sign yet that the Western sanctions are biting hard.

"Given the West's reliance on the Russian energy industry, it is vital governments across Europe reassess their self-sufficiency. This is likely to prompt greater investment in renewable and alternative sources."

The news was initially reported in Vedomosti, the Russian business daily. The paper quoted a letter from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, in which he asked officials to analyse the data.

Mr Sechin, a close ally of President Putin, said the company needed the money to help it cope with a ban on US credits and loans with a maturity of longer than 90 days, a ban which European banks and investors have also agreed to.

Rosneft has an outstanding debt of $44.5bn (£27bn) following its acquisition of TNK-BP in 2013.

It was this deal that resulted in UK oil company BP taking a hold in Rosneft, in a deal worth $1.5 bn (£1bn).

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