February 2nd, 2011

BP Chief Buys Back in to Russia Despite Prior Threats from Rosneft’s Sechin

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (left) with BP Chief Executive Robert Dudley and his predecessor Tony Hayward in August 2010 Photo: AP

It’s well known how Putin, Inc. treats its enemies, but the latest WikiLeaks revelations offer startling new details on the rough treatment it accords even its friends. The Telegraph published secret US diplomatic cables showing that current BP Chief Bob Dudley was tossed from his prior post leading the energy company’s Russian unit, TNK-BP, following a boardroom “coup” in 2008, and decided to “move around” from country to country” amid threats orchestrated by Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin.

On January 14, 2010, Dudley and Sechin joined in praising their latest transaction under which BP would swap five percent of its shares, worth about $7.8 billion, for a 9.5 percent stake in state-controlled Rosneft. Perhaps, as the Telegraph reports, Dudley was forced to set his fears aside and cut a deal with his enemy because BP finds it necessary to look for new business ventures with Putin in light of American anger over the firm’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

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