Saturday, 26 March 2011
BP's Russian Roulette
Now Nick Drew and I have dinner bet on what happens with BP. Mr Drew says that the new CEO, Bob Dudley, having been forced out of Russia by TNK a couple years ago, will understand the politics. I on the other hand think the Russian ins Russia know between themselves how to get a Western Company just where they want it.
My thoughts on what happens next are:
1. TNK manage to get a lump of Money out of BP.
2. Rosneft somehow gets to take over TNK as a result of Russian 'intrigue' - possibly by being 'attacked' for thwarting BP
3. BP proclaims happiness with the situation; but in reality has lost control of half its Russian assets in return for a 5% share in Rosneft. Rosneft will now how all the cards in terms of revenue, and BP will get used just for its exploration skills.
The idea that Putin backed Rosneft and TNK-BP being on opposing sides of the table is laughable. The table in Russia has all Russian companies on one side, with the Government and foreigners in the other. It's a very loaded game indeed and I don't hink that as smart as BP are they have the right smarts to deal at this level. There is a good reason the yanks, French and other stay well clear of trying to do 'business' in Russia.
We will see how it develops, but I am glad I am not a BP shareholder.
Finally, for a great read and insight into Modern Russia see this excellent article, its funny and very well written.