Russian oil company TNK-BP is tapping the syndicated loan market for a US$500mn loan to finance general corporate purposes, a source close to the deal confirms.

A European bank involved in the loan told GTR that “the deal is still in its early stages”.

TNK-BP declined to comment when contacted by GTR.

TNK-BP was last in the market in August 2011 with a US$1.5bn syndicated loan carrying a margin of 130 basis points over Libor. Bank of America and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi were lenders and mandated lead arrangers on the deal, while Banca Intesa, BayernLB, BNP Paribas, Citi, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING, Mizuho, Nordea, RBS, Société Générale, SMBC and WestLB also acted as lenders.

The group won its largest ever loan in October 2010; the US$2bn three-year club loan paid 175 basis points over Libor. Its last pre-export finance facility was signed at a total of US$600mn in August 2009.

TNK-BP is among the top ten privately-owned oil companies in the world in terms of crude oil production. The company was formed in 2003 as a result of a 50/50 merger with BP’s Russian oil and gas assets and the oil and gas assets of Alfa, Access/Renova group.