Briitish oil giant, BP, plans to remain involved with Russia despite looking to sell its stake in its TNK-BP joint venture, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday citing BP CEO Robert Dudley.
“We remain committed to Russia,” Dudley said, adding that the company had other businesses in Russia besides TNK-BP.
BP announced on June 1 that it has received unsolicited indications of interest regarding the potential acquisition of its shareholding in TNK-BP.”In light of these unsolicited approaches and consistent with its commitment to maximizing shareholder value, and its obligations under the shareholder agreement, BP has notified Alfa Access Renova of its intention to pursue a potential sale,” BP said in a statement in early June.
The sale announcement brought one step closer the breakup of the 50-50 partnership between BP and Alfa Access Renova, which saw TNK-BP formed in 2003 from BP’s Russian oil and gas assets and the oil and gas assets of Alfa Access Renova.
The partnership has been beset by strategic management issues in recent years, with former TNK-BP CEO Robert Dudley forced out of Russia in 2007, before subsequently becoming CEO of BP.
The aftermath of the dispute, which involved claims that BP was running TNK-BP as a subsidiary and that it was refusing to allow TNK-BP to compete in international markets, was a revised shareholder agreement, flagging a commitment to an IPO over the longer term, and a greater international presence for TNK-BP.
In January 2011 a proposed joint venture between BP and Rosneft to develop Russian Arctic energy interests, and a proposed share swap between BP and Rosneft, was ultimately abandoned after AAR took BP through arbitration claiming that the TNK-BP shareholder agreement gave TNK-BP the first right of refusal on any proposed BP projects in Russia – a position which was ultimately upheld.
The BP announcement came after TNK-BP CEO Mikhail Fridman announced his resignation in late May, with AAR CEO Stan Polovets saying that the time had come for a review of the 50-50 ownership structure of TNK-BP.