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BBC World Service

Protests, concerns at first BP shareholders meeting since gulf spill

Rob Young Apr 14, 2011
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JEREMY HOBSON: Less than a week before the one year anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico disgruntled BP shareholders are meeting in London for the company’s annual get-together. But the focus of the meeting isn’t so much the spill. It’s Russia where the company was hoping to make a lot of money down the road.

The BBC’s Rob Young is outside the shareholder meeting in London and he joins us now. Good morning.

ROB YOUNG: Good morning.

HOBSON: So, first of all, explain what’s going on behind you. There’s some protesting happening.

YOUNG: Indeed there is. There are dozens and dozens of protesters from all over the world who’ve made the journey here to London, including some people from the U.S. Gulf Coast. They come here to ask some pretty tough questions of BP’s management, particularity in relation to compensation and also the continuing impact on the environment of last year’s Gulf spill in the Gulf.

HOBSON: And I gather that the big story of the meeting over there has to do with this big Russian oil deal. Tell us about that.

YOUNG: It does. Thursday was supposed to be the deadline for BP and Russia’s Rosneft to finally agree to go ahead with a massive $16 billion deal to access potentially vast reserves of oil and gas in the Russian Arctic. And that could be very lucrative for BP. But the deal is at risk of collapsing because of rejections from BP’s partners in another Russian venture. The deal should’ve reduced BP’s reliance on oil from the United States but this deadline has now been extended by another month. But shareholders here aren’t happy. Indeed one person has described BP’s handling of the whole affair as completely shambles.

HOBSON: The BBC’s Rob Young in London outside the BP shareholder meeting. Thanks so much.

YOUNG: Thank you.

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