British energy giant BP (IW 1000/4) on Friday said it would return up to $8 billion (6.2 billion euros) to company shareholders by repurchasing shares, a day after completing the sale of its stake in a Russian joint-venture.

"BP announced today that it intends to carry out a share repurchase, or buy-back, program with a total value of up to $8 billion," the group said in a statement.

It added: "Today's decision to buy back shares follows the completion yesterday of the sale of BP's 50% interest in TNK-BP to Rosneft.

"The program is expected to return to BP shareholders an amount equivalent to the value of the company's original investment in TNK-BP."

Russian state oil giant Rosneft on Thursday announced the creation of the world's top listed oil firm as it sealed a $56 billion acquisition of the British and local stakes in the lucrative but strife-torn joint venture TNK-BP.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013