BP under pressure to drop stake in Russia’s Rosneft Business

MPs have long worried about the UK’s reliance on Rosneft through its partnership with BP.

Richard Ottaway, then chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, warned in 2014 that sanctions were a “double-edged sword” after Russia annexed Crimea.

Speaking at a 2014 debate, he said: “There are no gratuitous sanctions. We have a huge stake in BP’s commitment to Russian energy giant Rosneft. It’s a business in which millions of British pensioners have invested their pensions.”

A BP spokesman said it was “monitoring the situation carefully”.

BP is one of the biggest dividend payers on the FTSE 100 and is set to earn more than $1bn (£737m) from its partnership with Rosneft this year.

Rosneft is the largest listed oil company in the world and controls 6% of global oil production and produces over 4 million barrels per day.

Business groups are gearing up to support government efforts to cut ties with Russian companies. UK Chambers of Commerce are preparing to hold briefings with their members on how to comply with the sanctions measures next week.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to brief the biggest business groups on the government’s plans in a call on Friday morning.

A source close to the talks said: “All business groups support the government’s actions here, and we want to make sure it works and the companies do the right thing.

“The government needs to be clear on what companies need to do to comply and ensure they don’t inadvertently breach sanctions.

“No one is going to argue with this or say it’s going too far. It’s just about making sure everything is running smoothly because it’s a big business.”

Mr Sechin has been described as Putin’s “Darth Vader” by Russian media. The oil tycoon is considered Putin’s right-hand man after serving in several senior positions in his administration.

The former KGM official is believed to have orchestrated the Kremlin’s energy strategy. Mr. Sechin has been under US sanctions since the annexation of Crimea.

Mr Sechin personally oversaw the deal with BP 10 years ago. It flew from Moscow to London when BP acquired Rosneft’s stake. Rosneft acquired BP’s stake in the TNK-BP joint venture for $17 billion in cash as part of the transaction.

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This notice was published: 2022-02-24 19:42:51

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