Bermuda Post

Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

BP’s ties to Russia draw UK government ‘concern’

BP’s ties to Russia draw UK government ‘concern’

Oil firm holds 22% stake in Rosneft, run by Putin’s de facto deputy, and made $2.7bn profit from arrangement last year
BP has been warned of government “concern” about its involvement in Russia, in a telephone call between business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and the oil company’s boss Bernard Looney on Friday.

Kwarteng is understood to have spoken to Looney in the light of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which has increased scrutiny on British business ties to the Kremlin and led to sanctions against Russian firms.

Speaking after the call, a Whitehall source said: “BP left the meeting with no doubt about the strength of the business secretary’s concern about their commercial interest in Russia.”

Kwarteng is believed to be uneasy about BP’s 22% stake in Rosneft, the Russian state oil firm, particularly given its role in providing fuel for the military effort in Ukraine.

The British oil “supermajor” has been deeply entwined with Russia for years and holds two seats on the 11-strong board of the company.

Rosneft is run by Vladimir Putin’s de facto deputy, Igor Sechin, who has been nicknamed Darth Vader due to his fearsome power.

The two firms operate a “strategic partnership” that sees them cooperate on research, as well as on oil and gas projects such as Taas-Yuryakh in Eastern Siberia.

The arrangement is the legacy of a $55bn deal in 2013 that saw the Moscow-based firm take over BP’s joint venture, TNK-BP. In BP’s most recent set of annual results the state oil company contributed $2.7bn in underlying profit to BP’s bottom line last year, up from just $56m the year before, or just over 21% of its bumper $12.8bn profit for the year.

Sources familiar with the situation said Looney and Kwarteng discussed BP’s extensive Russian interests during a call on Friday.

While the UK has imposed a range of sanctions on Russian businesses, including the airline Aeroflot and banks Sberbank and VTB, partnerships involving BP and its UK rival Shell have been unaffected.

BP boss Bernard Looney and his predecessor, Bob Dudley, both sit on the board of Rosneft, which is chaired by former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

The relationship has long been mired in controversy: when he was boss of TNK, Dudley fled Russia in 2008 amid fears over his safety and what was described by BP as an “orchestrated campaign of harassment”.

BP has already been under fire for soaring profits and dividends amid an intensifying cost of living crisis, as well as pressure to slash emissions and move away from oil and gas exploration.

BP declined to comment on discussions with the government.

Related Articles

Bermuda Post
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
In a dramatic U-turn against His Government: Judicial Overhaul Legislation Must Be Halted, Says Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman tours potential migrant housing in Rwanda as asylum deal remains mired in legal challenges
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
Jeremy Hunt insists his Budget will get young parents and over-50s back into work
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Nashville police officer, and a female driver shooting one another
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Mexican President Claims Mexico is Safer than the U.S.
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
BBC Director General, Tim Davie, has apologized, but not resigned, yet, following the disruption of sports programmes over the weekend
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
A primitive judge in Australia sparked outrage when he told a breastfeeding woman to leave his courtroom for being “a distraction"
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Don Lemon, a CNN anchor, has provided a list of five areas that he believes the black community needs to address.
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History