BBC World Service

Rosneft pulls out of BP deal

Rebecca Singer May 17, 2011
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BBC World Service

Rosneft pulls out of BP deal

Rebecca Singer May 17, 2011
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: British oil giant BP had planned to team up with Russia’s state-controlled oil firm in a deal that would’ve opened up part of the Arctic for exploration. But the company ran into some trouble.

The BBC’s Rebecca Singer reports.


REBECCA SINGER: This was to be the deal that showed BP was back in business after the disastrous spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year. As chief executive Bob Dudley believed, a tie up with Rosneft would proved BP was still a major player and could deliver growth.

Nick McGregor is an oil analyst at Redmayne-Bentley in London. He says BP has lost a lot of credibility.

NICK MCGREGOR: It was potentially a good deal, but that they didn’t stitch this up first of all and get a binding pre-agreement from their existing Russian partners really does call into question quite a lot about the way this deal and BP’s being managed and what people really want to see at the moment is absolutely confidence in BP’s management, not extra question marks.

McGregor says Dudley should’ve known better. Especially since he’d previously headed up BP’s Russian operations. BP had tried to reach a compromise with its billionaire partners, who argued any investment in Russian oil had to be done through them.

But Rosneft is now free to strike a deal with other companies to look for oil in the Russian Arctic. And one of those is thought to be Exxon Mobile.

In London, I’m the BBC’s Rebecca Singer for Marketplace.

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